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Strout, E.A. 


Success selling farms 


[New York] 











Strout, E A 

Success selling farms; helpful hints to Strout 
salesmen, by E. A. Strout, president, ^llow York? 

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School of Business 


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Success Selling 

Helpful Hints to Strout Salesmen 



E. A. Strout, President 






Copyrighted by 

E. A. Strout Company, 



r' 3 SIS' 

St 8 

Helpful Hints 


Strout Salesmen. 

It Is Your Move. 

ANY man who starts out with the intention of making a success of 
this business can surely accomplish his object if he will devote 
himself to the work along the proper lines, and in forwarding to 
you a copy of contract under which you are to act as our representative 
we do so with the understanding that you will give your best efforts to 
this work. 

We are not dealing with theories when we state that we can make you 
successful in selling real estate. We have tried out thoroughly many 
different ways of handling country property and our present policy was 
adopted because we found it the most successful. 

Please bear in mind that we cannot make any move in the direction 
of getting customers for properties that may be for sale in your section, 
until you have placed with us the required list as referred to hereafter. 

One of the most important features of this business is our catalogue 
advertising. A copy of our latest catalogue you will find included in 
the supplies. The same will indicate the plan we follow to reach buyers. 

We issue several general catalogues each year with a circulation of 
abouf 300,000 copies. They are mailed direct to prospective buyers 
answering our advertisements now running in several hundred different 

Perseverance Is the Father of Results. 

If there is one thing in this world absolutely necessary in order to 
help a man to success it is sticktoitiveness. It is safe to say that 90% 
of the agents who fail in any line, including real estate, do so because of 
downright laziness, backed by a determination not to find out why others 
succeed where they fail. 

One of our successful agents who had a rather trying experience in 
getting his agency started writes us that he was just on the verge of 
"throwing up the game" when he attained his success. "It was hard 
work getting a start," said he, "and I came very near giving up after 
two weeks of walking through snow and slush, and not a farm listed, 
but just at the last gasp Misted four farms in one afternoon. Since that 


time they have kept coming in and now I have thirty-seven properties for 
sale. I have been astonished at the way the inquiries have been pouring 
in since you began to advertise my section. The first inquiry came from 
Iowa. Everything is now encouraging. I have caught the spirit of 
enthusiasm and you may be sure that this is not going to be a dead 

And we are happy to say it is not. 

The same perseverance so essential to success in listing properties 
must be followed in the real business of selling and in following up 
prospective buyers whose names go to an agent as a result of our adver- 
tising. Do not become discouraged if you fail to receive favorable replies 
from all the prospects to w<hom you write or if you do not succeed in 
selling a farm to the first man you get on the ground. 

There is just a possibility that your letters are partly responsible for 
failure to receive as many replies as you think should come, and it is 
also possible that the methods of salesmanship employed by you when 
you got the prospect on the ground were partially the reason for your 

failure to make a sale. 

If you are due to make a failure as a real estate agent, this is the 
point where you will stop, throw up your hands and your job. But if 
you are going to make a success of it you will begin a little personal 
investigation and endeavor to ascertain what is wrong. 

And when you find what appears to you to be wrong you will make 
every effort to correct it and will start out with renewed courage in search 
of other prospects. When the next man comes to see you, you will 
handle him differently and the chances are pretty good that if you 
have anything near like what he wants at a fair price you will land him. 

Excuses Get You Nowhere. 

Don't sit around and make excuses. Find out the "why," and then, 
when the next prospective customer comes along, throw out your bait and 
try new tactics. Keep on trying until you find the right way. You are 
the one who must find the right way ; no one else can tell you. We can 
suggest, so can others, but you are the man who must find out the way 
you can use best, the way you can make most efifective, the way with 
which your personality and capabilities will do the most. 

Try a little more enthusiasm. Put a little more ginger into your 
work ; more intelligence into your efforts ; more impressiveness into your 
statements, and last of all, don't forget the deposit, the most important 
thing of all. When you ask for a deposit, don't jump up into the air 
and beat your fists. Lead up to it carefully and take it for granted that 
you are going to get it when you ask for it. A little mental suggestion 
on your part will work wonders. Say to yourself, "When I ask for that 
deposit I am going to get it." Say this before you start to show the 


farm. If you keep this in mind, all your statements and all your actions 
will lead naturally up to the asking point. 

At the same time, you will have been improving your correspondence 
methods, and the result will be more prospects on the ground. With 
improved selling methods which certainly will result from your expe- 
rience, your sales will have increased in number and you will have pulled 
success out of what perhaps appeared to you in the beginning to be 
certain failure. 

Have Your Office at Your Home. 

If you are in a city or large town and your home is so situated as to 
be difficult for a stranger to find, or you have no good wife to act as 
partner, it may be advisable for you to have an office outside of your 
home ; but wherever possible, we believe it is best to have your prospects 
come to your home. 

If the prospect comes to your home, he is kept away from all outside 
influences, your competitors, the town gossips and others, and at the 
same time it makes him feel more as though his visit were a personal 
one— as though he had come to see a friend, and it removes the cold- 
blooded business feeling of a call at a public office. 

Strout Methods. 
In order that our new agents may be saved a great deal of unnecessary 
trouble, wasted time and costly experiments, we have prepared this 
pamphlet which contains in brief form a general resume of our business 
methods and plans as developed by many years of successful experience 
in the country real estate field. It is absolutely essential to the success 
of the new agent that this book be carefully read and that the rules herein 
laid down be followed as closely as possible. The various forms and their 
uses as explained on later pages should be studied carefully. 

Low Price Properties. 
In the first place, it should be borne in mind that every piece of real 
I)roperty, no matter where it is located, can be sold to some one some 
time, if the price is right. Experience has shown us that low-priced 
properties, even though they are located many miles from depot or 
town, are much better to advertise in our catalogues than higher priced 
and more favorably located properties. 

Personal Property Included. 
Experience has shown us, too, that where personal property, such 
as crops, live stock, tools and machinery, are included in the purchase 
price, it is far easier to find a purchaser for the property than when only 
the land and buildings are offered. For instance, a $2,000 farm with 
$500 worth of personal property included will attract more attention 
advertised at $3,000 than the $2,000 farm without personal property 
included, advertised at even $1,500. 


In view of this, there is only one conclusion — that is, that you follow 
this idea as closely as you can when selecting properties for us to adver- 
tise for your section. Along with the well-located high-priced farms, 
near the railroad, easily accessible to village, list the little way back 
places; and always induce the owner of every farm, large or small, 
to throw in something in the way of personal property, especially 
live stock. 

Use your ingenuity in getting the price as low as possible on every 
property you list at the time you get the description, as $ioo off the 
owner's net price is of just as much interest to you and us as the same 
amount additional from the buyer. At no time lose sight of the fact 
that you are selling farms on a profit basis and that the difference between 
the owner's net price and the selling price is our commission. 

Always get as easy terms as possible, bearing in mind at all times 
that the smaller the cash payment required the more quickly we can 
make a sale. g^nj Descriptions Promptly. 

Send descriptions and contracts of newly listed properties to us the 
same day you list the property. We have many callers at our offices every 
day and some of them might inquire for just the property you had 
listed but had not forwarded. In no event hold a description and con- 
tract more than three (3) days after you list a property. 

Copy on Form 167. 
For your own reference you should make and retain a copy of the 
description on Form 167 before sending the original description to us. 
Also, you should keep a record in a pocket notebook of the kind of 
contract and the amount net to the owner. Some of our agents, as a 
result of not keeping this record of the contract, have for instance settled 
with owners for a commission of $200 when in reality, according to the 
contract which the owner signed, the commission was $400. 

Changes in Descriptions. 
When requesting any change made in the descriptions on file at the 
home office, always send the information on a separate sheet of paper 
for each property you write about, telling of the different changes you 
wish made. We will then file each memorandum with the original 
description. Also, in sending in the original description, if you find it 
advisable to give any information not provided for on the description 
blank, be sure to send this on a separate sheet of paper and on this 
sheet refer to nothing except this particular property. In this way we 
will be able to give a prospective customer a very intelligent description 
of your properties from the information we have on file. 

The Importance of Being Careful in Listing Properties. 
The most careful attention should be given to filling out answers to 
each and every question on the description blank, particularly those ques- 


tions regarding prices and terms. There should be no question as to the 
amount of cash the owner is to receive, the amount of the mortgage, 
the time the mortgage is to run, the rate of interest and the time same 
shall be paid, whether annually or semi-annually. 

By being careful at the time of listing, it is possible to save a great 
deal of worry and needless labor when the customer arrives. 

A Little Secret. 

Never call our listing blank an agreement. Always refer to it as 
"price list." Many farmers are shy of signing agreements and, in 
Heaven's name, don't ever ask an owner to "sign here," pointing to the 
line with your finger. As soon as you have filled out the price agreed 
upon, sign your own name and then, putting your pen in the owner's 
right hand, say, "Just place your name on that line, please," and ninety- 
nine times out of a hundred he will do it, whereas if you ask him to 
sign, he will refuse point blank. 

Your Correspondence. 

One of the things most essential to your success as a salesman is 
promptness in replying to every letter received by you. Answer every 
letter the day it is received and use all possible care in the preparation 
of your reply. Should your correspondent ask any specific question, 
answer that question as clearly as possible and at the same time give 
any additional information which you believe will quicken the prospect's 
interest in your section and your properties. 

Use Your Own Name. 

In writing to prospective customers, always give your own name and 
address, for instance: "John C. Jones, Agent, E. A. Strout Company, 
Burlington, Mass." 

Without exception, our most successful agents, wherever located, are 
the men who give the closest, promptest and most careful attention to 
their correspondence. When they get in touch with a man who shows 
an interest in any of their properties they follow him in a systematic 
way until either they have sold him a property or have become convinced 
that it is useless to go further. 

Promptness Wins. 

That you may see the application of this, we will suppose that a 
man writes to two agents on the same day making specific inquiries 
regarding certain properties in each section. From one agent he receives 
a prompt answer, while from the other he receives a reply a w^eek or 
ten days later. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, Agent No. i, even 
if his section is less desirable than that of Agent No. 2, will land the 
customer if he buys at all. The man looking for a farm or anything 
else wants to do business with the man who will give him the best 
attention, just as you do when you are in the market to buy anything. 



You should give the same careful attention to every inquiry, no 
matter how unpromising it may look. It is only by answering all your 
correspondence from all your prospects immediately upon receipt of their 
inquiries that you can hope to obtain the best results. 


Making It Easy for the Reader to Decide— How to Bring Your Let- 
ter to a Close that Clinches and Makes the Prospect Act. 

Your whole letter, like a conversation with a customer, leads to a 
point where it is his move next and the last thing you say should make 
your prospect act quickly. 

Nothing that I have yet devised will do this as surely as a direct ques- 
tion. I receive a larger percentage of replies from letters closed about 
as follows, than from others: 

"Values in this section are. increasing so rapidly that these farms will 

not be on the market long Come to X at your earliest convenience. 

I will introduce you to our farmers and business men and will drive you 
with my own team to see the best bargains available. You will have a 
splendid opportunity to judge of the desirability of our section and to 
select a good home and profitable farm. Can you not come Wednesday, 
the 2nd? Yours very truly." 

Mailing Small Pictures to Prospects. 

One of the most effective correspondence plans used by one agent, 
who has made a big success of our business, is to mail small photographs 
of the buildings on a property to a prospective purchaser. 

"When a prospect advises me the kind of a property he wants," said 
this successful agent, "or I receive notice from the Company, I imme- 
diately send him a full description of one place that seems to meet his 
requirements. A complete description of one farm is better, I believe, 
than brief descriptions of several. 

"In my letter I enclose a picture of the buildings with a note on the 
back requesting that he kindly return it or bring it with him when he 
visits me. Nearly nine out of every ten pictures come back with a 
letter. My replies this way are nearly double what they were before 
I adopted the picture idea, and it has convinced me that the picture 
plan is a big winner." 

There are several reasons for this. In the first place, a man is 
interested more quickly by sight than by hearing or his imagination; 
and since he cannot be shown a farm by letter, the next best thing is 
to send him a picture that will fix his attention and drive home the idea 
that here, awaiting his inspection, is just exactly such a place as has 
been described to him. 





Messages of fifty words or more will be sent at night and deliv- 
ered the following morning throughout the United States by the 
Western Union Telegraph Company. 

A fifty-word ''Night Letter" will he sent for the price of a ten- 
word day message. 

Each additional ten words or less — one-fifth of the charge for 
the first fifty words. 

The "Night Letter" eliminates the necessity of abbreviation. 

This company's facilities for this service include forty thousand 
employees, over one million and a quarter miles of wire, and twenty- 
five thousand offices. 

The Western Union Telegraph Company 


For your information we reproduce 
above an advertisement now running in 
the current magazines. 

Many of our leading agents are now 
using these "Night Letters." They are 
most impressive. Our customers as a 
rule seldom receive telegrams. The re- 
ceipt by them of a fifty-word telegram 
or "Night Letter" from you will im- 
press them with your keen progressive 
business methods and at the same time 

convey to their minds the idea that the 
property you are informing them about 
must have unusual merits. The impulse 
naturally follows that they should take 
action immediately. 

When a prospect has left you for 
home to "see his wife," wire him after 
he has been home a day about as fol- 
lows : "Can not hold farm Number 462 
longer. If you want it, telegraph me 



This agent, as a rule, procures the photographs, which are of the 
post-card size, from the owner at the time the property is listed. At 
the time of listing he requests the owner to supply him with one dozen 
small photographs or post-cards of his buildings and a few days later; 
if the pictures are not forthcoming, he notifies that owner that he is 
ready to begin work on that property and that the non-arrival of the 
pictures is the only thing that is holding him back. 

Very often this letter has the desired result, but if the owner fails 
to supply the photographs, the agent immediately goes about it himself. 
Special Delivery Letters and Telegrams. 

There is probably no one thing an agent can do himself that will 
bring him better interest on his investment than a generous use of 
special delivery letters and telegrams. A careful study of your cor- 
respondence will find you now and then with an ideal case for the use 
of a special delivery or telegram. For instance, you have corresponded 
with a man who is difficult to get started. Such a man needs a special 
delivery, provided, of course, your previous letters have paved the way 
for the "special." Your letters must have shown him that you have 
his interests at heart and are really trying to find just the property 

he wants. 

Among your list of prospective buyers, to those to whom you have 
written that they will be notified when you have listed just the property 
they are looking for, send a "special" at once and enclose a "special" 
envelope, if the circumstances advise it, for their replies. 

Be sure that the property you write "special" about is really a good 
property. Never write "special" about a property that is not worth 

showing. 1 u 1. J 

The time and instances when a "special" or telegram should be used 
will be evident to the agent who keeps in close touch with his prospective 
buyers through the file system, which enables an agent to review at a 
moment's notice the history of every case. 

Telegrams properly used are very effective. The values of these 
instruments, whether "special" or telegram, depends largely upon the 
ability of the agent to "size up" the man he is doing business with. 
There are some things you can generally bank on as certain, viz. : the 
man who writes illegibly and is illiterate, which qualities can be ascer- 
tained by his letters, will appreciate these instruments. Be sparing of 
them with a man of higher education. 

The special delivery letter should contain a description of just such 
a property as you know the prospective buyer is in the market for, and 
it should be used only after you have tried in vain to interest him by 
the usual methods. It will be necessary for you to depend upon the 
circumstances of each individual case, suggesting that the prospect come 


to see the property at once or that he mail $50 or $100 to apply on the 
property, which deposit may be applied on any other property, if the 
one that you have selected does not come up to his expectations; that 
you are giving him first chance to get it; that there are other parties 
who had requested that you let them know when you had such a prop- 
erty, and that you are writing to them in the order in which the inquiries 
came in. He stands first on your list just at this time, however, and 
consequently is getting the first chance at this property. 

The first letter should contain a complete description of the particular 
property you have in mind. Naturally, it may be quite long, and even 
if it is no harm will have been done. 

But in the second letter, the fewer words the better. Just a few terse 
sentences to let your prospect know it is his last chance — that you must 
have a definite reply at once or the chance will go to the next man. Do 
not use an unnecessary word. You will be astonished at the results. 

Aids in Correspondence. 

You should put your very best effort into letters going to prospects 
who inquire about properties in your section. Always endeavor to fully 
cover those things in which the prospect is most interested. Not only 
describe one or two (never more than two) of the best bargains you 
have for sale but also tell him about your section, calling attention to 
its market and transportation facilities, its desirability as a home place, , 
its attractive features, historical and otherwise, and in a general way 
those things you would want to know yourself if you were in search 
of such a property. 

Meeting Prospective Customers. 

When you receive notice that a prospective customer is coming to 
see you at some stated time, be sure to either meet him yourself on 
the arrival of the train at the station or have some friend of yours meet 
him and take good care of him until you get to him yourself. We know 
that some of our competitors are watching trains constantly, eager to 
snap up our customers and thus reap the reward of our hard work and 
expensive advertising. When a prospect gets to your town as a result 
of our advertising, he is your customer and you should take every 
precaution to prevent any rival agent from getting hold of him. From 
the time our customer reaches your railroad station until you see him 
on the train bound for some other point, it is your duty to keep him 
from falling into the hands of others. 

Entertaining Prospective Buyers. 

The attention which should be given prospective buyers while they 
are in your town is a matter of such extreme importance that you are 
asked to carefully read and observe the following: 



First — Either meet every train yourself or have someone else do 
so who will take good care of the customer. 

Second — In every case possible, have your office in your home, not 
on the street. 

Third — If it is a possible thing, entertain your customer at your 
own home and do not send him to a hotel to meet other real estate agents 
and learn about other farms for sale in your section and perhaps listen 
to some grouchy person elaborate on all the bad points of the town. 

Fourth — If you must send him to a hotel, do not leave him until 
he is in his room for the night and be on hand early the next morning. 

Fifth — When you are away from home, have someone there during 
your absence properly instructed how to keep a customer entertained 
until you return. This means inviting the prospect to partake of some 
nourishment, no matter what time of the day or night he arrives, keeping 
him as cool as possible in summer and warm and comfortable in winter ; 
isitting with him and talking pleasantly about different subjects, being 
particularly careful to mention only pleasant things about the town and 
its people. Ask him regarding his family, how many children he has, 
etc., etc. If he has any children, tell him about the good schools, 
churches, etc. All this will be interesting to the prospective customer. 

Sixth — Always have the party who meets your customer at the train 
take him to your home when you cannot attend to him at once. 

Seventh — See him off on the train when he leaves town and whether 
he has purchased or not, grasp his hand at parting and say (as if you 
meant it, whether you do or not) that you are very glad to have met 
him. He may come back or send others to you. Even if he has bar- 
gained for a certain property, if left to wait around town until train 
time, there is an opportunity for someone to spoil the sale. 

If possible, you should send him to some other Strout agent ; in any 
event, you never should try to discourage him from going to see some 
of the other boys by telling him this other fellow has a poor territory. 
If you cannot sell to him yourself, be broadminded enough to give some 
of your fellow-agents a chance to try; in other words, be loyal to the 
firm you represent, and in the end you will find that you have been 
working for your own best interests. You will be the gainer every time. 

Friendly Remembrance. 

A visitor who leaves you in the frame of mind a man must be in 
when he has received only courteous and considerate treatment during 
his stay in your town cannot have anything but a friendly remembrance 
of you and your section. And such a man often sends to you some of 
his friends whom he believes may be interested in some of the prop- 
erties he has seen; and where you assist your fellow-agent in a case 
where it is impossible for you to make a sale yourself you will find that 



that agent very frequently will go out of his way to push a prospect 
along to you. 

Aiding Competitors Prohibited. 

Under no circumstances whatsoever may any agent send a prospec- 
tive customer to anyone not connected with the Strout Company. If 
we learn of any of our agents sending a customer to whom he cannot 
sell, to a competitor, giving his name to a competitor, sending him to 
a property owner or giving his name to any party not connected with 
this Company, or recommending such persons to any property on which 
the Home Office will not make a regular commission, we shall terminate 
forthwith the contract existing between that agent and the Company. 

The Art of Entertaining. 

If you are not already an adept, you should make a constant study 
of the art of entertaining strangers. The moment you get in touch with 
a prospective customer, he is, or should be, under your personal influence. 
If you can make your correspondence and your personality sufficiently 
pleasing to the customer, the battle is a great deal more than half won. 
The moment he steps from the train, he should feel that he is your 
guest and a welcome one, and he should be shown every attention and 
consideration that is necessary for his comfort and convenience. 

The Stranger Meets a Friend. 

When you first greet a prospective customer, look him in the eye, 
smile and shake his hand and sihow him that you are very glad to meet 
him. Make him feel that instead of being in a strange land, he has 
met an old friend. 

If it is anywhere near meal time, see that he gets a good warm dinner 
before you start out to inspect properties. If it is a cold and rainy day 
and he is not warmly dressed, loan him a good, thick coat, cap, mittens 
and a pair of overshoes or heavy boots, so that when he walks down 
through the wet fields his feet will still be dry and warm. If he gets 
his feet wet, he will be thinking more of the unfavorable side of farming 
than of the good trade you have just shown him. 

You cannot sell a farm to any man who is cold, or wet or hungry. 
You know yourself that things look mighty dreary at such a time, while 
with a full stomach and a warm back, things appear in a much more 
rosy light. 

The First Impression. 

When driving out a customer to see a farm always determine before- 
hand which side of the buildings should be shown first to give him the 
best impression upon approaching the property. Sometimes, it will pay 
to go a mile or two out of your way in order to approach a farm from 
its most favorable side, thus making the first impression a pleasing one. 
. Every piece of real estate has some good points and it is to these 




good qualities that you should give your attention in talking to a prospec- 
tive customer. If you draw attention to those points in a convincing 
and entertaining way, the customer many times will not notice some 
of the disadvantages. 

Be Square. 

Do not try to gloss over any poor qualities by misrepresentation. 

We now have and propose to keep the reputation of doing a square 
business and we have given back to a buyer the money he had paid to 
bind a trade after he had proven to us that the agent who made the 
sale misrepresented the property to him. 

Satisfied customers are the best advertisements that we or you can 

^^^^ Avoid Making Price. 

Probably nine out of every ten prospective customers, before finally 
saying they will take the farm you are offering them, will ask you how 
much less than the price you quoted can the farm be bought for. Some 
of them will make an offer or ask the lowest price simply as a matter 
of business when all the time they think the price quoted is very rea- 
sonable, perhaps low, and intend to buy at that price. Once in a while 
a man will not make up his mind to buy unless there is a reduction in 

the price. . 

Extreme care sihould be exercised in dealing with a case of this kind. 
We will imagine, for instance, that you have a property listed for $2,000 
net to the owner and we have been advertising it and you have been 
showing it at $3,000, and the customer after examining the property, 
tells you that he does not want to pay that price for it. Don't let the 
customer feel that the farm can be bought for a dollar less than the 
price quoted him until you see positively that he will not pay the first 
price asked for the property. 

Refer It to the Owner. 

Then it is time enough for you to say : "Well, I am ready to submit 
the offer you want to make for this place. I really think it is going to 
sell easily for $3,000, but if it can be bought for any less I would like 
to see you get it." Then, if he should offer $2,500, you may tell him 
it would be useless to submit any such price as that— that you may be 
able to get the owner to take off $100, perhaps, but that you know it 
would be hopeless to ask for a $500 reduction. 

Then you can say : "If you want to give me $200 to bind the trade 
on this property at $2,900, I will see the owner, and if you cannot have 
the property at $2,900, I will return the $200 to you." Oftentimes, 
when a customer makes an offer, you will be able to get him to increase 
it later, for, of course, his first offer will seldom be his best offer. 
Whether you get him to finally agree to pay $2,900 or $2,800, however. 



take his $200 and give him a receipt for it with the agreement and 
understanding that it is to bind the trade on the terms agreed, subject 
to the owner's approval. At the same time, give him your promise 
that if you cannot get the owner to agree to his price his $200 will be 
returned to him. 

Then you can see the owner. Tell the owner that you have sold 
his farm to net him $2,000, as he listed it with us, and then see the 
customer or write him that the farm will become his for $2,900 or $2,800, 
as the case may be. 

A Fatal Error. 

Our most successful agents have told me that time and time again, 
when they were foolish enough to take the matter of fixing a low price 
into their own hands by saying, "I cannot sell the farm to you for $2,800, 
but I can sell it to you for $2,900," the customer has immediately grown 
suspicious and left immediately without purchasing that property or any 
other, however attractive a price may be made to him. 

You should make every customer feel that you have no authority 
to change the price to the extent of a single dollar, but must, in every 
case, refer the matter to the owner before such a change can be made. 
Then he will feel that the price he is getting is the owner's lowest and 
that will keep his appetite sharp and make him feel that you are doing 
him a great favor to intercede with the owner for a lower price. 

$33 Instead of $2000. 

If you use the right line of argument you can often convince a man 
that he can afford to buy a $4,000 farm when he thinks he can afford 
to contract for nothing larger than a $2,000 property. In the beginning, 
it will appear to the prospective buyer as merely the difference of $2,000 
in a lump sum. That will be his attitude when you begin your argument. 

"The cost of the property really should be figured by the year," you 
will begin, "for that is the measure by which you enjoy it. You and 
your loved ones will enjoy the shelter of the buildings and receive your 
maintenance from the land for a period of, say, sixty years. The first 
cost of this $4,000 farm over the $2,000 cwie is $2,000, or just $33 a 
year for 60 years. 

"Is it not worth $33 a year to enjoy the use of the extra rooms in 
the house and liberal stable room? 

"The nearness to market and town of this farm would enable you 
to take immediate advantage of any quick change in market prices of 
hay, potatoes, fruit, etc. Without question, you would make $33 many 
times over each year through this one advantage of location. 

"You will visit town at least once each week. If you figure the time 
of your team and yourself at only $2 per day and by your nearness to 
town are able to make the round trip in half a day instead of a day as 




from the $2,000 farm, you would save 52 half days of a value of $52 
each year. 

"Aside from all the above advantages, the extra size of the pasture 
would enable you to take in ten or more cattle each year at about $35 
a season. 

"Can you imagine a year when the value of the extra hay that this 
farm cuts would be less than $100? 

"Take these fruit trees which are good for an average of $1.00 a 
year each and there are 100 more trees in this orchard than in that on 
the $2,000 farm. Surely you will not let the small item of $33 a year 
stand between you and all these money-making advantages! 

"Moreover, isn't it worth ten cents a day to enjoy the feeling that 
this beautiful farm property is yours?" 

This line of reasoning was particularly strong. It changed the idea 
of the first cost from $2,000 to $33. Twist these ideas to suit cases, 
keeping in mind the amount of money your prospect has to invest and 
write us whether or not they make sales for you. 

Avoid the Word "Commission." 

Never use the word "commission" in talking to a prospective cus- 
tomer. Do not tell anyone what commission you make on any sale. 
Do not, in any way, bring to the attention of the prospective customer the 
fact that you are going to make money if he buys a farm through you. He 
knows you are, of course, but just as soon as you mention anything 
about your end of it, a prospective customer will at once become sus- 
picious. You can never do business in a satisfactory manner when 
suspicion exists. 

Time to Bind the Trade. 

The time to bind the trade is when the buyer says he will take the 
farm. That is the moment for you to act. Whether it is out in the 
field or on the road makes no difference. Right then and there make 
out your agreement blanks and take his money to bind the trade ; always 
get as much cash as you can. 

If the customer has no cash but has a good watch, take that with 
a note. If a customer has only $5 cash, take that and his note for $95 
or $195, making a deposit of $100 or $200 on the property. Sometimes 
that note will make the sale go through when the customer would sacrifice 
the $5 casih. We are better off to have even his note alone, though it is 
worthless, than we are to have nothing. 

However, you should not at this time take the customer's note for 
more than $200, or 15% of the purchase price. If you take too large 
a note to bind the trade the courts will not enforce payment, while 
they will enforce it on a small note. 




There is every reason, however, why you should get a good-sized 
deposit to bind your trade. Many times a deposit of this kind will insure 
the completion of a sale which, if the deposit had been smaller, would 
have been allowed to go by default. One of our older agents, who has 
made a marked success of our real estate business, makes a practice of 
getting fully ten per cent, on amounts over $4,000 and, where the selling 
price is less than $4,000, a minimum of $400. 

"If, after signifying his willingness to make a deposit," said this 
agent, "I find that the customer has only $50 or $100 with him I almost 
always take his check made payable to me as agent, for the balance 
of the deposit. I tell him then that I will present this check right away. 
If I think there is a possibility of a check not being good, I draw a 
note payable to me on demand for a sufficient amount to make up the 10 
per cent., have him sign it and tell him that the note will be at some 
bank he and I agree upon in New York or Brooklyn or wherever he 
comes from and that he should go there and pay it. I have never had 
a check fall down. 

"Another point is when to get your commission. Now, the time 
to get your commission from the farmer is the first crack out of the 
box. I do not wait until the title passes, for then there are a lot of 
excuses. I get my money right away. I always get $400. Never less 
than that amount. I always get enough money on deposit to cover my 
commission. The agent's commission is due when the agreement is 
signed — and every day after that means a little harder work to get it. 
I hope that the newer men in the field will take advantage of this idea." 

Formal Agreement of Sales is Important. 

We must never overlook the importance of always making a binding 
agreement at the time of sale, so that in case of forfeit we will be entitled 
to receive the same amount as if the sale had been completed. 

When an owner and a buyer enter into a binding agreement a sale has 
been made and our commission is due. A sale may be made on terms 
that would not require the actual transfer or the passing of a deed 
inside of a number of years, but we would not be required in such a 
case to wait for the completion of the sale for our commission. The 
best thing to do is to see that a binding agreement is made and then 
to take our commission out of the first deposit. Then, in case the sale 
is forfeited, we will not be the losers. 

There have been instances where owners, for various reasons, have 
refused to deliver deeds even after making binding agreements with 
buyers and in some cases where deposits have been paid to owners, rather 
than wait indefinitely to get possession, buyers take back the deposit and 
look elsewhere for property. 

I I 


' In cases of this kind, we are entitled ^^ ^^^l^^^^^^^^^ 
nothing else than the — ^o^^l^^^^S^^^^^Z the ag^ee 
The owner should be S^'f" jj^^jf^ ^^ ^^, commission even in case of 

ment has been signed, we will «^P«i °" ^^ „£ the buyer or 

forfeit without respect to cause, whether due to an a« 

seller. Qet the First Deposit. , . , j 

Whenever possible, have - ^ ^5? it u^S ^e^l t^:^- 

tor between the buyer -J -"" '"J/^t^^J^rey L forfehed, you can 
.he sale is completed. jUso m ca^e th m y^^^^^ ^^ ^^.^^ ^^^.^^^. 

deduct the amount to which we are emu ^^^ 

to collect it from the owner who is often slow to pay. b 

of the first payment ^'f .^^^^ ^ ZZTJ^Z^^ the first deposit 
it is only reasonable and just that ^e receive , commission 

is made. If the first payment >s sufficient ^^^^^'^ ^^^ ,^^ ,, ,, .^^h. 

a loss of the same. >, 

(See Form 194-Agreement of Sale, on page 41.) 

Know Your Goods. 
Excellent Advice fron, One of ^"^^^:^'C:'^::^.,. 
"I know every foot of land, where the fif^! ^^^^^"^^^uyer woidd 
,00k, the source of the water supply, 'f^^^f^;Z?slidZ. of our 

..nt to --:;^^-:-X''^l^:^St e"he methods which 
most successful agents ^^^^^^^^ ^ ^st month after month, 

had enabled him to head ^^^f^J^'^^^ ^o make sales/' said he. 

m we don't know our goods we ^^"^^.^/^P^^' ^^ everything there is 
^«I walk carefully over -ry^-^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ the owner, 

to be learned about them. At the same time g ^ 

lower price -f -^^^ ^ ,7;^,,, secret. Know your goods thor- 
tion then and there. That ^^ ^he wn ^^ ^.^^^^ 

oughly and get your price and your terms rigni w y 



When you do this you will not have much trouble to make a sale. Just 
to sell a farm is the easiest thing an agent can do, because the E. A. Strout 
Company sends the buyer right up to our doors with the money in his 
pockets. All we have to do is to show him what he wants, and if we 
know our goods and have seen to it that the price and the terms are 
right, the sale is made." 

Good Agents Keep Posted. 
Never allow yourself to be unable to answer clearly and promptly 
any question a prospective customer may ask you regarding local prices 
and conditions. One of our star agents in New England recently told 
me that when he began in the business he spent a great deal of time 
making himself thoroughly familiar with the express rates to Boston 
on berries, early peas and summer apples. He also got the rate per 
carload for second-hand furniture from several large cities like New 
York, Boston and Philadelphia to his town ; likewise the freight rates per 
carload and per hundred on apples, potatoes, cabbages and other farm 
products which the farmers from his section were shipping to the market 
over the railroad. He also posted himself on the prices paid for various 
kinds of logs delivered at the saw mill and he found out just what was 
being paid at the depot for pulp wood and cord wood for fuel. By having 
all this information right at his finger ends, he was able to answer the 
many inquiries regarding these things which prospective customers often 

If you can give your prospect detailed information regarding all the 
local conditions that he is inquiring about, he will not be trying to find 
someone else around town to give him that information. 

How to Handle Advertised Properties That Have Been Sold. 

When an advertised property has been sold or withdrawn it does not 
mean that its usefulness is at an end. We take great pains to avoid 
advertising sold or withdrawn properties, but some places are sold after 
the catalogue is on the press and then it is too late to make a change. In 
such cases, do not hesitate to get the prospect on the ground, as you cer- 
tainly will have on your list another property that comes near enough to 
that for which the customer is looking, so that you can show it to 

When the customer arrives, explain to him fully the circumstances 
of the sale and if he wishes drive him direct to the property that has been 
sold. You can say to him : "Let's look this over together and then com- 
pare it with another place which I have recently listed and which I am 
sure will be much more satisfactory to you than this one." You know 
all the good points about the farm you are going to show him and you 
know a good many poor ones about the farm that has been sold, and it 
is up to you to put it up to your customer without misrepresentation, 


L *« h. .ill ...1 .to. .1." "" «■« >«" '"^t h te b";.',"" " ""■ 

„.'iu^t«u*in. ..»-;- - - r .'to. r- 

you tell him is correct. ^^^ ^j^^ j yj^^. 

Similar -^SO^-^^^l^ZtTZ^ LThm'understand that he will 
about a property that has been soia. _ compare 

have an opportunity to see the ^'°^fl^''l^;;^^Zonhi^ your belief 
it with the one you -<>-^^^\^ ^^Z' :^',::^:;iT..nt hfm to pur- 
:tl%rvT"ra:;ne^s Ini^lUnt^ss to sho^w him both will maWe 
him ready to hear w^^jou^^ave^-^-^^^ ^^^^ 

One of the most delicate situations the new agent will find himself 
in Si be he Arrangement of terms of sale between the owner and 

.sh as rJ" o o^r contracts provide for a minimum payment of 
cash, as most oi uui r ;nfrpnvientlv however, it is 

somewhere between those two sums, ^ot "freque^n^^^^ 

•ui f^ ;nHiirf' an owner anxious to sell to accept a niu 
possibl to "d^« ^\7^^^,d agree to accept at the time h.s property 
amount of «/• *an he w g ^.^^^^^ ^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^.^^ ^^^ 

xri? will ':.".".<. .1.. Ki- »< p"" •"" '"- "'"■ '" "' 

an actual buyer for his property. ' 

Insurance Policies. 

1 io ,.rMi <;hould see that the interests of our 

When you make a sale,^^^^^^^ ^'^^^^^^^^ insurance pohcies prop- 
customers are properly protected by naving ^^^^^^ 

erly transferred. Unless you ^;;^^J^l^'^^^ it will be 

days or weeks before the purchaser will think oi ii, ai ^ p 

overlooked entirely. 



When the owner is notified to prepare the deed he should also be 
notified to apply to the company in which the buildings are insured for 
consent to transfer his policy to the buyer, and when the deed is delivered, 
the policy, either with an endorsement or an assignment accompanied by 
the Insurance Company's consent to the transfer, should be delivered to 
the purchaser. 

Sales are sometimes seriously delayed and often there is danger of 
them falling through because of failure of the agent to attend to details 
regarding insurance papers at the time it should be done. It is just as 
much a part of an agent's business to see that the insurance policy is 
assigned and ready for delivery at the time set for settlement as it is to 
see that the deed is executed properly. 

By attending to this detail, we will often avoid misunderstandings 
and vexatious delays as well as protect our buyers from the risk of 
the total loss of their buildings by fire. 

Have the Tax Receipts Ready. 

At the time of the settlement, in addition to the usual papers, you 
should have the seller's tax receipts or duplicate receipts for the two 
years previous to the sale. These will generally be accepted as sufficient 
evidence that there are no back taxes to be paid. 

It costs nothing to insist on the seller having all necessary papers 
ready at the appointed time and occasionally it will save the loss of 
a sale. 

To Our New Agents. 

Please have it thoroughly understood in your section that you are 
representing the E. A. Strout Company. Station agents, telegraph offices 
and operators, post-masters, telephone exchanges, rural free delivery 
carriers, stage drivers, etc., should be given this information so that 
arriving prospects will have no difficulty in locating you. 

Good signs placed near the station, with instruction how to find you, 
will help not only in making you known to outside customers, but at 
the same time will greatly assist you in listing. 

In Posting Signs. 

Be sure to observe state laws regarding posting signs on posts, fences 
and trees in the public highways. In every state it is legal after obtaining 
the owner's permission to place signs on trees and buildings on private 
land along the highways. 

Let Everybody Know. 

Make it your business to see that everybody, not only in your home 
town, but in the surrounding territory in which you expect to work, 
know of your appointment as the local Strout representative. Keep your 
name and your business before them at all times and in every way 



See that your appointment as the Strout agent is chronicled in the 
local newspapers and endeavor from time to time to have news items 
published regarding you and your business activity. Always procure 
the publication in these newspapers of a report of every sale you make. 

When you start out to list your first farms, don't introduce yourself 
to an owner by saying that you are getting a list of farms to advertise 
and try to sell. Tell him instead, that you have many men coming to 
visit you in a short time to buy farms that you are now ''selecting" for 
them. Stated in this way, you will have your man's attention and his 
opinion of you will go "sky rocketing." 

Anyone can list farms, but it is not every one who is going to be 
rushing about over the country with out-of-state buyers. 

You are "selecting" farms. That will convey to the owner's mind 
right away the thought that he must offer his farm very reasonably 
or it may not be "selected" as one of the desirable ones to show your 
coming prospects. 

Talk with him about his farm and finally tell him as though you 
were conferring a favor that you like his place well enough to list it, 
provided he makes the right price. Get him to make what he claims 
to be his lowest price, if you can, before you say anything about terms. 
When you have the lowest price he will give, remark: "Well, you are 
planning to pay me five per cent, (or whatever the usual percentage in 
your section may be)." Nine times out of ten, the owner will reply 
in the affirmative, and you can then remark, "That will leave you exactly 
so and so," and set it down in the agreement. Then go ahead and 
explain that you are not an ordinary agent; that you take the farm at 
a figure net to him and of course he does not care what you sell it for, 
as, in any event, he will receive exactly the net price agreed upon. 

Above all things, make him feel that you are the real "i8-karat dia- 
mond studded" ^article. Make him feel proud to be dealing with you, 
and he will let most of his neighbors know that he is acquainted with 
you inside of forty-eight hours. 

If you have been in this work two months and are not one of the 
most talked-of-men in the county, you need a big twenty-grain dose 
of confidence. Don't say to yourself: "Well, I won't say much about 
this. I'll Hst a few of my friends' farms and see what I can do." 

There are numbers of you agents working with that bee under your 
shirt collar. You know it is a fact. That is why customers come to the 

office with "I was up to X yesterday. Hunted all over the town 

and couldn't find your agent. No one seemed to know you had a repre- 
sentative there." How many owners living within a few miles of you 
don't know that you are the man who can sell farms? 



Make Yourself Known. 

If you have been dilly-dallying along as though you were ashamed 
of your business, for heaven's sake, brace up! Go after 'em! Get out 
on the side lines and root! Talk shop with every one you meet. Give 
it to them strong. Feed bright, optimistic talk in short doses, but often. 
Go to every store, sihop and bank in town and introduce yourself. Tell 
the proprietors and the clerk all about the great work you are entering 
upon. Make it plain to them that you are going to do more to benefit 
their section than any one has ever before attempted. You are going 
to bring in new settlers who will improve the farms, increase the value 
of property, prove good customers for the stores and clients for the 
banks. Leave some advertising with them and ask them to help you 
in establishing your business by sending settlers and buyers to you. 

When you are first starting in 

A Silent Helper. 

The following advertisement run 
in your local paper a few weeks will 
help you list farms. Try it. 

Electrotype will be sent you free 
on request from the New York office. 

business and get an inquiry from 
one of our offices or through the 
Confidential List, take that inquiry 
in your hand and hustle up to a few 
of the men along the street or in 
the stores and ask if they know of 
a property that will suit this pros- 
pect. Make a stir — keep the people 
interested. Hail them coming and 
going and throw so much confidence 
and enthusiasm into your work that 
you will beget confidence and en- 
thusiasm in everyone you meet. If 
some croaker remarks that you 
haven't made a sale yet, tell him 
that you haven't begun to fight. 
Tell him that you are having all you 
can do to keep the buyers off until 
you are ready for them. Tell him 
any old thing to make him under- 
stand that you are going to do business and do it right. 

The larger the business undertaking the longer it takes to launch it. 
A lawyer or a doctor thinks he has done well if he makes expenses 
the second year. If you do not make a sale as soon as you might wish, 
it is no excuse for you to lose confidence or speak doubtfully about 
your business prospects. Smile, hold up your head and defy anyone 
to cast a shadow of a doubt on your ultimate success. 

Greatest of all be confident. Doubt makes cowards and failures. 
Confidence makes heroes and, best of all, it makes money. 

You don't want for the 
CASH you do through the 

World's Largest Farm Agency 

Thousands of sales everywhere prove right methods. 
No advance fee required. Write our nearest office or 
agent today for free listing blanks. 


47 W. 34th SU NEW YORK 
Boston Philadelphia Pittsbura 

OldSoathBldp. Uad Title Bldg. Uaion Bank Bldg. 

J. C. BARR, Agent 
Weston, Ohio. 





When You Make a Sale. 

Just as soon as you sell a property, fix in some conspicuous place, 
on the bam, for instance, one of our signs, "Sold by E. A. Strout Co.," 
which will be furnished you upon request; and at the same time place 
in the newspapers a notice something like this : "The E. A. Strout Com- 
pany, through their local representative, John Smith, reports the sale 
of the Joseph Brannan farm to William Golden of Newark, N. J." 
Advertising of this kind calls the attention of property owners to the 
fact that you are making sales, and no one thing will help you more 
than this to list properties. 

Reports on What Our Competitors Are Doing Will Help Us in 
Placing Our Advertising to the Best Advantage. 
We want you to be kind enough to send us, if it is at all convenient, 
a report at the end of each month, giving us the number of sales made 
in your district by our competitors, the name of the competitor making 
the sale, the name of the owner of each property sold, the amount of 
sale, and the name and address of each purchaser. Information of this 
kind is of great value to us. Try and get this information for us and 
just as soon as you have it compiled at the end of each month, send it 
along. We will appreciate your compliance with this request. 

List Low Price Properties. 
In listing properties you should proceed as quickly as possible to 
secure all the low-priced properties within a radius of ten miles from 
your depot. In doing this it is always well to start at the depot and 
;iist in all directions. In opening up a section, it is always best to list 
as many low-priced properties as possible, as they draw better. When 
you have sent us a list of twenty-five properties, we will begin to push 
your best bargains. We advertise in the papers properties described in 
our publications, and in this way reach the buying public. All inquirers 
to such advertisements are furnished with a copy of the publication 
containing descriptions of the properties advertised. The larger your Hst 
of descriptions of properties the better will be your chances of making 
sales and the more advertising you will get from this office. 

Successful Salesmen Can List. 
In starting out to list properties, please bear in mind these facts : 
We have over loo agents selling properties successfully under the 
same instructions as given you. The agents who have failed are those 
who were not successful in listing properties. An admission on the 
part of an agent that he is unable to list properties is also an admission 
of the fact that he is not a real salesman. Any man can take orders, 
but a salesman is necessary when goods are to be introduced and sold 
in a new territory. We are the only real estate company engaged in 



the work of building up a real estate business through agents who are 
residents of their respective localities. No one could possibly offer you 
a better opportunity to build for yourself a successful business. We 
have more customers looking for farms and country homes than all 
the rest of the real estate companies combined. This is an acknowledged 
fact and is verified by the larger number of sales we are making and 
the thousands of inquiries we are receiving monthly at our different 
offices from parties who are interested in buying country property. 

Get a Low Net Price. 
When listing a property bring into play your best qualities as a 
buyer ; for upon the price at which the property is listed we must base 
our commission. The lower the property is listed the better your chances 
of getting a fair commission on the sale. If you are not thoroughly 
familiar with local values, make it your business to become so at once 
and then use your knowledge in getting the lowest possible net price 
in every listing. 

Always bear in mind that to list a property on withdrawal is greatly 
to your advantage. Even if the fee is only $25, a withdrawal clause in 
the agreement keeps the property in our hands and not only gives us 
a better chance to sell it, but at the same time helps to eliminate com- 

P'''''°"- Where to List. 

Experience has proven it inadvisable for agents to list properties 

more than fifteen miles from their homes. It is no use to attempt to 

^handle property when it is located too far away to be conveniently shown 

by team. _ . . ^, ^^ 

Concentrate Your Efforts. 

In showing properties to prospects who come to you, always select 
one or two places which you believe will come nearest to meeting the 
prospect's requirements and give all your attention and energy to showing 
those places. 

Always bear in mind the desirability of impressing a prospect with 
the idea that only a few properties in your section are on the market 
for the reason that the owners are perfectly satisfied and have no desire 
to change to any other farming section. The moment you get the idea 
into a prospect's mind that the section he is visiting is one where farmers 
are prosperous and contented it will naturally create in him a desire 
to buy in that section, providing you can show him something that will 
mean a good living to him and at the same time come within reach of 
his pocketbook. Create in the visitor's mind the idea that only a few 
properties in your town and in the surrounding country are for sale. 

Don't throw out your ohest like a foolish schoolboy and start in to 
brag about what a lot of property you have listed. Don't start in by 
trying to impress your customer with what a smart man you are. You 


are out to sell him a farm. Don't try to bluff the stranger. Talk to 
him the same as you would talk to your next-door neighbor who was 
in school with you and has known you all your life. You would not 
try to put on any false front before that lifelong friend. Don't try 

it with the stranger. 

How a Sale was Lost. 

A customer must not only believe that he is buying a good farm, 
but also that he is buying in a good locality. Never give prospective 
buyers an idea that your whole section is for sale. A prospective cus- 
stomer recently came into our New York office on his way home after 
visiting one of our agents. We were naturally interested in knowing 
whether he had found a property to his liking. On inquiring, he gave 
us this reply : "I visited your agent and I must say he has some very 
good propositions. One or two properties in particular I liked very 
much. I did not buy, however, for the reason that I could not under- 
stand why so many owners seemed anxious to sell and at what appeared 
to be very reasonable prices. Your agent told me that he had a large 
number of properties for sale, and in driving with him to look over 
one or two particular propositions in which I was interested he pomted 
out nearly every property we passed as being listed with him for sale. 
I do not want to locate in a section where everybody seems anxious 

to move out." 

Watch Your Prospective Customers. 

One of our most successful agents recently told us his plan for 
handling prospective customers who visit his section. "I meet my cus- 
tomers at the station or trolleys and then take them immediately to 
my home. If it is evening when they arrive I try to entertam them 
until it is time to retire. If it is not possible for me to entertain them 
over night, I see that they are comfortably quartered at some good hotel 
or at a neighbor's house, in which case I get around in the morning in 
good season before they have time to loaf around in the streets or in the 
hotel office. That is where the trouble is made." 

No matter how much confidence you have in the owner, don't let 
the owner and the buyer go off together in looking over the farm unless 
you are with them. Of course, there are farmers you can trust to do 
this, but, as a general rule, don't do it. Never leave the customer alone 
a minute while he is in town if you can possibly avoid doing so. 

Good Advice. 

The new agents can do no better than to follow the advice of. some 
of our older men whose success as real estate agents is firmly estab- 
lished Here is a bit of advice given by one of them and will, without 
doubt, be endorsed by you. He says : "When you get a prospect landed 
keep him contented. I depend upon all prospects to whom I have sold 



to help me land others, and they do." The satisfied customer will help 
you, too. 

Pay Fare Only One Way. 

A misunderstanding of the Company's intentions with reference to 
the Free Fare Bond in several instances has resulted, not only in unnec- 
essary and unwarranted expense both to the Company and to the agent, 
but also has brought about undesired controversies with our customers. 
As is plainly stated in all advertising matter referring to the Free Fare 
Bond, the Company binds itself to pay the fare from the home of the 
customer to any property he may buy through the Company, the distance 
in no case to exceed 1,000 miles. Frequently we have been asked by 
a buyer to extend the free fare privilege to other members of his family. 
This, of course, we cannot do. One fare one way to each sale where 
demanded by purchaser — not one cent more; the Company stands half, 
the agent half. 

Do not allow railroad fares until buyers have taken deed. This is 
in accordance with the terms plainly stated on the Free Fare Bond. 
When the buyer demands his fare at the time of purchase, simply tell 
him or her that the fare will be forthcoming as soon as the title passes 
to the property. 

Send Check with Orders for Special Supplies. 

Agents must accompany their orders for special supplies with a 
check covering the cost. The innumerable small charges would add a 
great deal of work to our bookkeeping department, already heavily 
burdened. While the individual sums are small, taken as a whole they 
amount to many thousands of dollars in the course of a year — many 
thousands of dollars of the Company's money tied up in charges on 
the books when in reality they should be out working for more business 
for the Company and for you. It requires a great deal of money — real 
hard dollars — every week, to keep up our business-getting campaign, and 
we are using every dollar we can spare in pushing that campaign to 
the limit. We cannot afford, nor can you, to have these dollars con- 
stantly tied up in petty charges. 

It will be to our mutual interest to keep that permanent debit account 
as low as possible, so we trust you will do your part in helping us to 
keep it down. 

Advertising Material. 

In preparing material for personal circulars, catalogues, supplements, 
leaflets, fliers, etc., please keep in mind the points mentioned in the 
following letter, which was sent out as a call for material for our Spring 
Catalogue. If you will keep these suggestions before you and will observe 
them when preparing material for catalogues, etc., there will be no 
question about the success of your agency: 




Mr. OntThe-Job, Hustleville, N. Y. 

Dear Mr. On-The-Job: Our Spring catalogue will be the shape and 
size of that big business-getter "List 19" and the subject matter and 
descriptions for same will be arranged about as they were in "Money- 
Making Farms No. 20" which made the "panic year" for others a "banner 

year" for us. u • u • 

In addition to the pictures and descriptions of properties which in 
your best judgment you feel it is advisable for us to advertise in our 
spring catalogue, please send in at the same time a good write-up of 
your section together with two or three views of interesting bits of 
scenery. If you can send along a few money stories telling how farmers 
are making dollars in your section, giving facts and figures regarding 
crops, productiveness, yields, income per acre, etc., please do so. 

Give Full Information. 
Those in the market to buy farms are always interested in "dollar 
talks." They want to know what the farmers are receiving in your 
section whether they are prosperous, social conditions, nearness to large 
cities, markets, and in fact, just the very things you yourself would want 
to know if you were in the market for a farm and had your attention 
called to some particular section about which you knew nothing. You 
would not want to buy a farm unless you knew all about the things we 
have just mentioned. Put yourself in the place of the man who is in the 
market to buy and give him the information he wants, in fact, the in- 
formation he must have before he will evince a very great interest in 

your section. 

In order that the contract under which you are working may result 
in dollars in your pocket and in ours, each of the parties to the contract 
must faithfully do his part. If you will list up the properties m your 
section following along the lines mentioned in our letter of instructions 
and will comply with this letter, sending to us the desired descriptions, 
pictures, write-up of your section, along with any "money talk" you may 
be able to get together, we will give you a good showing in our catalogue. 
It is always well to learn the "crawl feature" of this game before attempt- 
ing to walk. You have the opportunity to make a good many dollars this 
year. The reward is not a possibility. It is sure. It comes as a natural 
result of events to those who are willing to co-operate with us in the effort 
we are making to build up successful country real estate agencies. Last 
year we sold 814 farms. This year we shall sell in all probability more 
than 1,000 farms. If you are willing to do you share of the work 
you may safely figure on getting your share of this business. 

It Depends upon You. 

If you succeed in making five sales out of the spring catalogue, the 
next catalogue should bring you in ten sales. You can see, therefore, 


how necessary it is to read this letter from beginning to end, not once, 
but many times. Find out what it means, the things it calls for, and 
then Get Busy. If you do not intend to provide us with the material we 
require for our catalogues, then there is no use in our trying to help you. 
The men who succeed are the men who help themselves. Now, if you 
will help yourself to the extent of not only reading this letter carefully, 
but complying with it in every detail, there is no doubt whatever but 
that we, on our part, will be able to put you in touch during the next 
six months with a great many customers, meaning to you several hundred 

Be assured of one thing. This is not "Hot Air." We have been 
in this business ten years. Our record for the ten years is marked by 
thousands of sales throughout seventeen states by our 100 successful 
agents. What we have done for others we can do for you. Now, will 
you help yourself to the extent of giving us the material with which to 
attract customers for your properties? 

Keep Listing. 

If you have not already listed twenty-five properties, get on your 
buggy seat just as soon as you can and spend the next two weeks listing^ 
properties. We cannot advertise agents who have less than twenty-five 
properties listed for the reason that we do not care to send our customers 
to agents who have a list of less than twenty-five properties to offer. 
There is no money in selling unlisted properties, and for this additional 
reason we do not want our customers going to sections where agents have 
only unlisted properties to show. 

In sending in your material please be guided in your selections by 
the instructions given in this letter. We desire you to send in ten written 
descriptions even if you have only twenty-five properties listed. Out of 
the ten we will select the descriptions which in our opinion will pull the 
best. As our friend the late O. Henry said: "It is up to you." If you 
place any value on the contract under which you were appointed to rep- 
resent us you will give this matter serious consideration. 

Please send us descriptions and photographs for ten places along 
the following lines: 

1. One property $ 800 or Jess 

2. One property 1,000 to $ 1,500 

3. One property 1,500 to 2,000 

4. One property 2,000 to 2,500 

5. One property 2,500 to 3,000 

6. One property 3,000 to 4,000 

7. One property 4,000 to 5,000 

8-9. Two properties 6,000 to 10,000 

ID. One property over 10,000 






At least one of these places should be a poultry farm under $2,500. 
There should be one good fruit proposition between $2,000 and $8,000. 
The description of this farm should mention the amount in dollars real- 
ized from the sale of fruit in one season. It should be your very best 
fruit proposition, from an income standpoint. 

Live Stock a Drawing Card. 

At least five of the properties should have live stock included. Two 
should be the largest acreage on your list at not over $20 an acre. 
There should be one small place suitable for a summer home — small 
acreage, near water and railroad station. 

Good pictures should accompany these descriptions. 

You cannot spend too much time in getting first-class photographs 
to illustrate your descriptions. If necessary, pay a good professional 
photographer to take the pictures. It will be a mighty good investment 
for you. 

In selecting properties to be advertised in the catalogue, you should 
bear in mind the idea of confining your selection to those properties 
worthy of being advertised in the newspapers. Each property selected 
should have some one special, unusual feature. In writing your descrip- 
tions you should keep this in mind and try to work in something special 
regarding each particular property so that every description will have 
an attraction possessed by very few places. . 

Special Features. 

Here are a few of the special features which will help to make a 
description pull: 

Three miles or less to railroad station. 

Good photograph of buildings. 

Some live stock, tools, wagons, growing or harvested crops, etc., in- 

Large acreage at $20 an acre or less, even though it is a dozen miles 

to depot. 

Large hay crops. 

If a farm is well suited for taking boarders, say so. 

What rate per week do summer boarders pay? 

If farmer has made money in the past by taking summer boarders, 
state the amount in any one season. 

Mention the good fishing when there happens to be any. 

Wood on the farm, value per cord at nearest railroad station: dis- 
tance to same. 

If there is timber on the farm, state what it is worth per M. at 

nearest mill or shipping point. 

Large and commodious barns and outbuildings. 

Buildings in good repair. 

Half cash, or even easier terms. 




Where insurance on the buildings is within 75% of the price we 
are asking for the entire property, so state. 
If tax rate is less than 15 mills, mention it. 

Nearness to thriving town where farmers attend Grange meetings 
and where there is a high school, good churches and such other attrac- 
tions as will help to make the life of a farmer enjoyable. 

Exceedingly good returns from some one particular source, such as: 
"This property produced 400 bushels of potatoes from one acre 
last year." 

"The peach trees on this property yielded $600 last season." 
'Last year's crops of apples on this property brought in $700." 
Twenty cows on this farm brought the owner $2,500 in one year." 
'One-half acre in strawberries on this farm yielded $600 in one year." 
You can double the pulling force of descriptions by including live 
stock, such as cows, horses and poultry. 

Put in all the personal property the owner is willing to include. Live 
stock and personal property pull customers to you like a Missouri mule. 
The above are a few of the features which will make a description 
pull. The use you make of these points, together with those on the 
back of Form 159, in preparing your descriptions for the catalogue will 
have much to do with your success this year. You know the properties 
on your list thoroughly and with the assistance of the owner can point 
out telling selling points which probably never would occur to a man 
writing a description of the farm from the bare facts given on the 
Agreement Forms 115, 154 or 183. 

While this letter was being dictated, an owner of a listed property 
came into our office and called attention to the description of his farm 
given in Catalogue No. 28. "If you had brought into the description 
all the special features connected with my property," said he, "your 
agent would not have to work very hard to eflfect a sale. But you made 
no mention in the description of the fact that my buildings are in excel- 
lent condition, that there is water in the house and barn, and that the 
land is almost entirely free from stones. You left out the best selling 

Careful Preparation. 
This indicates the advisability of the agent right on the scene prepar- 
ing the descriptions of the properties to be advertised in our catalogues 
and also of submitting every description to the owner without an asking 
price mentioned, asking him if there is anything he can add to make it 
more attractive. 

An owner will think of more selling features about his property in 
five minutes than we could get together in our office in an hour. You 
and the owner are in a position to provide us with an ideal description. 



Tell the truth Allow no description to leave your hands unless you 
know it states facts. An owner will oftentimes lie and try to deceive 
vou regarding the productiveness of his farm and the distance from the 
school stores, etc. Don't allow them to pull the wool over your eyes. 

Get the facts and tell the truth. 

Do Not Mention • 

Do not mention in your description anything about "hunting." Say 
"good fall bird shooting," "excellent duck shooting," "fine fun shooting 
squirrels, rabbits," or whatever the sport is. but omit the word .hunting. 
Make no reference whatever to coon, deer or fox huntmg for the reason 
ihat a farmer does not want to locate where any of these animals are 
numerous, on account of the injury they do to crops and podtry. 

Don't try to work in all these good points in any one advertisement 
It would make the advertisement too long. One hundred to one hundred 
and fifty words is enough for any description. Pick one or two puling 
points regarding each property about which you are gomg to write a 
descriotion and present these points strongly. 

Do "ot select any property located more than twelve or fifteen miles 

from your home. 

Do Not Rush. 

Take severaldays to write and rewrite your descriptions. It is a 
clean ooen game. If you win, we win. If you lose, we lose. It is m 
yr'hS now to maL our spring catalogue a strong business-getten 
Please send your descriptions and pictures to the office in charge 
of your district. For instance, if you are in Maine, New Hampshire 
Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island or eastern Connecticut send your 
material to the Boston office. If you are in western Connecticut, New 
York and New Jersey, to New York; Eastern Penney ™-^ ^'^/^ 
southern states, send your material direct to our Ph'ladelph a office. I 
you are making your reports to our Pittsburg office, please send your 
material direct to Pittsburg; if to Chicago, send them there. 

Preparing Advertising Material. 
In writing letters and preparing descriptions of P^perties for cir- 
culars Ilway! make your asking price an even hundreds of dollars. 
N ver make a price of $825, $850 or $875. Always make the price 
fhe nexreven hundred, which in this case would be $900. Odd dollars 
n prS make only an excuse for a customer to ^fr the next even 
hundred lower, thinking he can get you to take oflfthe odd doll^. 
Never make the asking price $2,200, $3,300, $4,400, $5,500, $6,600, 
etc., but make it $2,300, $3,400, $4,500, $5,600, $6,700, etc. 

Boom Your Section. 
Our agents can help the Advertising Department greatly by sending 
in. ?rom Le to time, photographs of places, fancy hve stock, harvesting 



scenes and buildings of public interest in their localities and articles on 
crops, market quotations, transfers, etc., taken from the local newspapers 
and journals that tell the successful farmer of exceptionally large yields, 
of big returns through intensive farming, etc. All these things are of 
interest to an intending purchaser. 

Boom articles are always good readers. They do not take up much 
space, they relieve the monotony of many descriptions and they help 
you. We want our agents to feel that the catalogue is up to them; 
that its success is entirely due to their efforts to make it attractive. 
Without our agents' co-operation, we can do nothing. 

Do You Want Buyers for Your Farms? 

If you want buyers for farms in your section, why not make a study 
of the following description which drew thirty inquiries in three days and 
which has already brought in two sales and paved the way to several 
others. Here is the description: 

Farm For Sale. 

Stock, Tools and Crops Included. 

Four cows, three heifers, 75 hens, wagons, machinery, 
small tools and some crops go with this rich i co-acre farm 
if taken at once; 8-room house; new barn; rich loam soil; 
spring-watered pasture for 12 cows; 150 barrels apples in 
season ; near neighbors, stores, church ; everything goes for 
$1,500; $1,000 cash, balance on easy terms. 
Can you offer a bargain like this? If you can, have you recommended 
that it be used in our next catalogue ? Do you know the kind of descrip- 
tion's necessary in order to attract buyers? If you do not, read the above 
description very carefully and you will understand why it is one Agent 
is busy answering letters, sending out his personal circular, showing prop- 
erties to prospective customers arid making sales, while another Agent 
wates his time and ours in writing letters complaining about the lack of 

If you are not getting inquiries there is something wrong with the 
bait. The bait we are using in the catalogues is the bait you are sending 
to us. If it is not effective the fault is yours. The Agent who has a 
good strong personal circular needs only to know the names of the parties 
who are interested in his section. To find out who is interested all that 
is required is a good bargain. Now -it does not matter whether the par- 
ticular property advertised in the catalogue is sold. It does matter, 
however, whether the inquiries received as a result of that particular 
description result in sales. 

We could not succeed in making very much in the way of profits, in 
fact, we could not succeed in attracting very many inquiries by advertising 


a dollar bill for lOO cents. We would be given credit for advertising a 
legitimate article at a legitimate price but dollar bills at one hundred cents 
each are not curiosities nor are they to be considered bargains. The man 
whose curiosity is aroused is the man who discovers something at a price, 
in his judgment, less than its actual value. This is the secret of selling 
goods at a profit. We have got to convince those in the market to buy, 
that we are offering something at less than it is actually worth. If we 
can picture a property in such a way as to convey to the mind of the 
reader a property worth more money than we are asking for it, we will 
have succeeded in arousing his curiosity sufficiently to cause him either 
to write to our local address for further particulars or to at once visit 
our local address for the purpose of inspecting the property advertised. 

Successful advertising has for its object the selling of goods. It 
must first attract attention, arouse curiosity. It must in the second place 
convey the idea of the goods being offered at less than their real value. 
It must in the third place create a desire sufficiently to cause him to make 
up his mind either to inspect the goods advertised or to at least make 
further inquiry in regard to them. 

Advertising can go only one more step and that is to bring about an 
actual purchase without further solicitation. We cannot expect our ad- 
vertising to reach the last stage because we do not aim to sell farms by 
mail nor do we care to have prospective customers make deposit on farms 
without inspection. In our business, therefore, we shall have to eliminate 
the final stage when we fix the standard of our advertising. We are 
satisfied when our advertising is the means not only of drawing an inquiry 
for the catalogue but brings the interested party into contact with our 
agents. We leave him there and all we ask is that when we do bring 
him to the point where the agent takes up the work, we leave him with 

no false impressions. 

Mr. Agent, you should study carefully the above description. It rep- 
resents the kind of material necessary for us to have in order to do 
effective advertising. If you will provide the rhaterial, we will do the 
rest. Above all, get live stock included. 

Send Good Photographs to Illustrate Your Descriptions. 

The first impression, ninety-nine times out of one hundred, is the 
real and lasting one. In any publication, whether a magazine, news- 
paper or catalogue farms or anythin- cl i . it is the illustration which 
first catches the eye of the reader. If the picture is a good one, the 
attention is held and almost invariably the description which accompanies 
it will be read. An inferior photograph not only will not attract atten- 
tion in the first place but in many cases probably will have the effect 
of detracting from the really good points that may be set forth in the 
description which accompanies it. 



Good photographs are absolutely essential to successful advertising 
of our properties. Not only should the most favorable point be chosen 
when a picture is being made, but 

grapher should 

always the photo 
strive for the artis- 
accomplished in a 
one photographer 
pears in one of our 
reproduced here, 
gives the whole 
charm that other- 
almost entirely 

As a direct contrast. 

tic effect. This was 
striking manner by 
whose work ap- 
catalogues and is 
The border of trees 
photograph a 
wise would be 

we are reprinting here another illustration 
which appeared in the same catalogue. This photograph shows a barren 
looking hill with a house perched at its top. It is true that this picture 

was made during ^ ^ the winter when 

there was no foli- Uj^**^^ ~^3 age on the 

and when it would 
sible to have ob- 
like the results 

photograph. We 
merely to illustrate 
making the most 

age on the trees 
have been impos- 
tained anything 
shown in the other 
reproduce it here 
the advantage of 
of conditions when 

conditions are at their best. In other words, take your photographs when 
the trees are in full foliage, choose the best point from which to take 
your picture basing your judgment not only upon the appearance of the 
buildings themselves but on the natural surroundings. If you cannot get 
good results yourself, it will be well worth your while to procure the 
assistance of a professional photographer who will get the results and 
enable you to place your properties before the buying public at their best. 

In taking pictures, always select a clear day and when the property 
is looking at its best; we do not want pictures showing snow heaps or 
stone walls. If there are any shade trees, try to get them in; they always 
improve a picture and will help along a sale. 

Take pictures when the trees are in leaf. Take all pictures with the 
sun back of the camera. We do not want poor pictures of good buildings 
nor good pictures of poor buildings. 

Wear Your Hat. 

When you have your photograph taken for cut to be used in your 
personal circular, zuear your hat. This picture should be a good likeness 
of you as you walk down the station platform to greet your customer. 

If your customer recognizes you from your photograph it gives him 
that warm, genial thrill that a familiar face will bring to any stranger 





in a strange to\vn. If your customer finds on meeting you that you 
really do look like the picture in the circular, he feels (without conscious 
reasoning) that everything else is going to be just as it is represented, 
and he will readily place confidence in you and your representations. 
High Grade Camera and Case Only $9.50. 

Agents who have had difficulty in 
procuring good photographs of farm 
buildings and surroundings to illus- 
trate their descriptions in our cata- 
logues will be interested in the East- 
man Bull's Eye Camera pictured here- 
with. An automatic attachment pre- 
serves the focus under all conditions. 
The inexpensive little machine makes 
a fine photograph. The Eastman Com- 
pany will furnish the camera with 
leather carrying case for $9.50 and express charges. Or you may order 
them through our branch offices in your district or our main office in 
New York, and we will ship them to you, express charges collect, for 
$9.50. Size of picture 3/4x4^. 

All Printed Matter Must Bear the Company's Name. 
Under no circumstances can we permit printed matter of any kind 
pertaining to our business to be distributed from any of our offices, or 
by any of our agents, directly or indirectly, which does not bear the 
name of the Company. The postal department holds that we are re- 
sponsible for all printed matter distributed through the mails, whether 
from our offices or those of our agents, and, for this reason alone, it 
is not only necessary from a business standpoint, but it is an obligation 
we owe the postal authorities to pass upon all copy before it goes into 
the hands of the printer, and, in passing on the copy, we desire the 
name of the E. A. Strout Company to appear so that there will be no 
misunderstanding on the part of the Company, the agent, the postal 
department or the general public. 

In getting out postal cards illustrating or describing properties, per- 
sonal circulars, special fliers, leaflets, booklets, letterheads, etc., copy 
must be approved by our New York office, so there will be no chance 
of the above rule being overlooked. 


The Forms and Their Uses. 

A thorough understanding of the various forms for use in the con- 
duct of your agency is one of the first requisites 'in assuring your success 
A complete supply of the Forms described on the following pages was 
forwarded to you on the date this pamphlet was placed in the mails 
Please read carefully and follow closely the suggestions regarding all these 
forms. ** 

FORM No. 115. 

White Description Blank and Price List Combined. 
Keep a Supply in Your Pocket. 

This form is to be used by you in listing properties. It should be 
h led out by the owners, properly signed and dated. Then you should 
fiH m carefully the three lines at the head of the first page, your post- 
office address, state, number of the property, acreage and the selling 
price, and attach your signature as agent. 

Please be careful to impress upon owners the importance of each and 
every question on the Form. Correct answers to all questions are neces- 
sary, as our circular and newspaper advertisements are written from these 

You should be particularly careful to see that the owner gives his 
reason for selling, as provided for on the proper line, second page, and 
also that he fills in the n^ price that he will take clear to himself on 
the second page. ' 

It is of no use to list properties at unreasonably high prices and 
as you are familiar with values in your district you, therefore, should 
be careful to see that the owner's net price is sufficiently low so that when 
our commission is added the price will not be above the real value of 
the property. It costs a great deal of money to advertise and we do 
not want to advertise properties anywhere unless they are real bargains. 

Easy Terms Essential. 
Another important point is to have the owner give, as provided in 
the blank, the very best terms he will accept. In this connection you 
must always remember that the smaller the cash payment and the easier 
the terms for the balance, the less difficult it will be for us to effect a 
sale of the property. Lines giving itemized statement of the total income 
last year should be filled out with great care, as should also lines telling 
of record crops grown on nearby farms. 

Always get ozvners to include as much personal property as you can 
as It is much easier for us to get customers for farms where personal 
property is included than otherwise. 




The Price Agreement. 

The price agreement on page 4 will require your very best attention. 
There is nothing in it to which a reasonable owner should object. In 
taking it up paragraph by paragraph it is not necessary to do very much 
elaborating. Let the owner raise the objections if he has any. In the 
first space in this agreement should be placed the lowest net amount 
the owner will take clear to himself. This price should be the same as 
on page 2. 

If Owners Object When You First Start to List. 

In the beginning you may find that some owners will object to the 
10% commission provided for in this agreement. In that event, you 
may use Form 154 in listing properties until your agency becomes firmly 
established. By that time when you will have gotten together a good list 
of properties and have made several sales, owners will have no hesitation 
whatever in placing their properties in your hands on the regular Form 


You should never, under any circumstances, alter the agreement on 

Forms 115 or 154 so as to make our commission less than $100 or 5% if 
the property is over $2,000. 

The only clause to which an owner might object is that under which 
we receive a withdrawal fee in case the property is taken out of our 
hands before we have effected a sale. You are at liberty, therefore, in 
the beginning, and where it is absolutely necessary, to reduce the with- 
drawal fee from 2% to 1%. If the owner will not pay 1% you may 
make the minimum withdrawal fee $25 by drawing your pen through 
the words "2% of the price mentioned, which in no case shall be less 

than " If the owner absolutely declines to pay a withdrawal 

fee and he is willing to list his property at a price that gives us an oppor- 
tunity to make a good commission, we are willing for you to cancel the 
entire withdrawal clause. These alterations may be made only during the 
early stages of your agency, however. As soon as you are making sales 
you will have no difficulty in listing properties on withdrawal. 

Withdrawal Clause Helps You. 

Owners will leave property in our hands indefinitely when there is a 
withdrawal fee attached, and for this reason, if for no other, you should 
use your best efforts to list all properties on withdrawals from the very 
beginning. It keeps out competition; it protects you for the trouble you 
have taken in listing the property, and it protects us in the expense we 
incur in advertising. 

Please bear in mind when listing properties that you will be entitled 
to one-quarter of all withdrawal fees collected on properties listed by 
you. The rest of the agreement explains itself. 



FORM 154. 
Yellow Description Blanks. 

We are sending you with your first lot of supplies only one copy 
of Form 115. It is not likely that you shall be able to list on this Form 
m the beginning and we shall be quite satisfied to have you use Form 
154 in the early stages of your agency. As soon as you are able to 
hst successfully on this Form, however, without cutting the agreement 
you can gradually work into the use of Form 115, and by that time 
you will realize that it is very greatly to your advantage to use Form iic 
rather than Form 154. 

Get Owners, Before It Becomes Illegal, to Reduce Prices. 

The form of contract we are using gives us considerable latitude in 
arranging terms and settling the details of a sale, but there is one im- 
portant point on which we must not go astray. 

It is a great temptation to an agent, after receiving a deposit on a 
property, to approach the owner and say, "Mr. Jones, I think I can sell 
your farm if you will reduce your price $100," aiming thereby to make 
a larger commission. 

Don't do this. It is illegal for an agent to get an owner to reduce 
his net price after having received an offer or deposit on his property 
unless the owner is given full details of the proposed transfer and is 
advised of the amount of commission the agent will receive and agrees 
to the terms. 

I will cite three examples to make my meaning clear : 
Suppose you have Jones' farm for sale at $2,000, net, and receive a 
deposit to bind a trade at $2,000. You then go to Jones and tell him 
that you can sell his farm if he will take $1,900, net. He agrees to accept 
that amount and the following day you notify him that his farm is sold 
This is illegal and an offense punishable both by fine and imprisonment. 
But if you have an offer of $2,000 on a farm listed at $2,000, net, 
and take a deposit on it and agree to sell it subject to the owner's ap-' 
proval, then inform the owner of the exact terms of the offer and get 
him to accept $1,800, net, to himself. This will give us a commission 
of $200 (the same as though the property sold for $2,200) and will 
be a legal transaction. * 

Another example: If you have a party whom you believe will buy 
Jones' farm at $2,200 but from whom you have not received a bona fide 
offer or deposit and you get Jones to re-list his farm at $1,900, and then 
secure a deposit from your customer, it is a perfectly legal transaction, 
because you did not have an offer or deposit from your customer at the 
time you secured a reduction in price. 

Briefly stated, get the owner to reduce his price and re-list his prop- 
erty before you agree with the buyer to sell it to him or receive his offer 



J f 



on it. Never get the reduction in price after an offer or deposit has been 
accepted by you, without explaining to the owner just the amount the 
property is seUing for, the amount of commission we are to receive, and 
the price he is to receive, net, for the property, and get his approval to 
the sale on those terms. 

It is absolutely essential that at the time of listing a property you get 
the easiest possible terms from the owner. Have him write on the 
description blank the smallest amount of cash he will accept at the time 
of sale and the length of time he will allow the balance to remain on 
mortgage and the rate of interest which the mortgage will carry. Bear 
in mind always that the smaller the cash payment, the longer the mort- 
gage is allowed to run and the lower the rate of interest, the easier 
it will be for you to effect a sale of that property. 

FORM 167. 
Brown Description Blank to Be Retained by Agent. 

This Form is to be used by you in retaining a copy of the original 
description (Forms 115 or 154). All original papers should be sent 
to our nearest offke as soon as signed. You will note that Form 167 
does not provide for a copy of the price agreement nor does it give 
on page 2 the owner's price and terms. You should therefore keep a 
separate memorandum in a notebook showing the owner's price so that 
it will not be necessary to refer to the description blank to find out the 
exact amount of commission to which we may be entitled in case of sale. 

We want Form 167 as retained by you to contain nothing that would 
in any way inform a prospective customer of the .amount you may have 
added to the owner's net price. The only price on the Form, therefore, 
should be the asking price copied from the original description blank 
(Forms 115 or 154) in the upper right hand comer, page i. Avoid, as 
far as possible, allowing a prospect to take in his hands and read for 
himself the description. What you tell him or read to him will impress 
him more forcibly than anything he reads himself. 

Please see that your first description is numbered No. i and con- 
tinue thereafter in numerical order. All descriptions must be signed, 
dated and numbered, otherwise they will not be accepted. Always, 
where possible, descriptions should be accompanied by pictures of the 

buildings. Unlisted Properties. 

You should never, if you possibly can avoid it, handle a property 
that is not properly listed. If you should at any time, however, when 
you are unable to interest a prospect in any of your listed properties, 
sell an unlisted place, you should secure from the owner a signed price 
list. Fill out the description blank and agreement and have the owner 
sign and date it. Mail this to us with your report of sale. 




To safeguard our interests, we must alway-j have a signed descrip- 
tion from the owner of each property we sell. Then, if a purchaser ever 
claims misrepresentation, we can produce the owner's description to 
show that our statements were in accordance with his and the purchaser 
will then hold the owner responsible for damages. If you have no 
description signed by the owner, the purchaser can hold you responsible. 

FORM 194. 
Owner's Agreement with Purchaser. 

In filling out this Form state clearly and fully the terms and condi- 
tions of sale. The more completely this agreement is made out the less 
opportunity there will be for any misunderstanding to arise later on. 
If there is not room to write in a list of all personal property included, 
write the list on a separate sheet and attach securely to Form 194. This 
agreement should be made in duplicate, both copies signed by the buyer 
and seller or you as agent for seller and one copy kept by each. 

If the owner is not present when you close the deal, you may sign 
as his agent, providing you have made the sale according to the agree- 
ment under which the property was listed on Form 154 or 115. When 
you do this you should deliver to the owner his copy of the agreement 
at the earliest possible moment. Always keep a copy of the agreement 

for your own reference. r-^^r*** io*> 

FORM 132. 

Report of Sale. 

A report on this blank should be mailed to us the same day on which 
you receive a cash deposit, note or other consideration to bind a sale. 
Please answer each and every question fully, as all the information 
asked is necessary in properly keeping our records. 

FORM 129. 
"How to Sell a Farm." 

This book contains many valuable suggestions and you should make 
it a point to read the same carefully. We mail a copy of it to every 
owner as soon as description of his property has been received at our 

^^^^ FORM 130. 

"A Few Friendly Facts." 

This book will help you in introducing us to the owners in your 
section. Read it carefully; it will help to increase your knowledge of 
the work we are doing and, at the same time, it will be of valuable 
assistance to you in listing properties. Many of our new agents mail 
a copy to each of the owners in their section before calling to see them. 
In this way it serves as an introduction. 

Whenever you are in need of a supply, kindly call the same to our 
attention and your wants 'will be attended to promptly. 




FORM 142. 
Agent's Monthly Report. 

Please fill out and send report on this blank to the office in charge of 
your district at the end of each and every month. It will keep us in 
close touch with your work and help us to help you. 

Form 103. 
Withdrawal Notice. 

This is to be used in notifying us of any properties withdrawn. It 
is necessary that our records be kept accurately and up-to-date and we 
must rely on you to keep us fully informed of any and all changes that 
may take out of our hands any listed property in your section. 

Whenever an owner desires to withdraw his property, you should 
find out from him the reasons therefor, stating the same on the with- 
drawal notice. If withdrawal is due to the property being sold, the 
name of the purchaser with address should be given in full. This is 
important as our customer may buy direct from an owner without your 

We keep on file the names of all parties inquiring for catalogues; 
all such parties are our customers, and should they buy a listed property 
direct from the owner, with or without your knowledge, we would have 
no difficulty in legally collecting full commission from the owner in 
accordance with the contract. In such case, you would, of course, receive 
your regular share of the commission thus collected. You therefore 
will be guarding your own interests in notifying us promptly and fully 
regarding all withdrawals. 

FORM 159. 

White Advertising Blank. 

This Form should always be used when sending material to our 
home office for advertisements in the various issues of the general cata- 
logues and other publications. Read carefully, and observe closely the 
instructions laid down on the reverse side of this Form. By so doing 
you will place your section and your properties before prospective buyers 
in the best possible light and will be assured of the best returns from 
our advertising. After the required number of descriptions have been 
carefully written in accordance with these instructions make a memo- 
randum on the face of Form 159 as provided and send that, together 
with the descriptions, to your district office. 

FORM 177. 

Property Classification List. 

This Form should be filled out as soon as you have ten properties 
listed and a copy sent immediately to each of our branch offices and to 



the New York office; and thereafter a revised report should be fur- 
nished every sixty days. By means of this classified list the men whose 
duty it is to interview callers at our various offices have before them 
at all times the very information they desire regarding your properties, 
and they thus will be enabled to make instant reference to the original 
descriptions of these properties which are kept on file in our offices. 
Through these lists our inside salesmen are enabled to interest prospec- 
tive customers in many properties that otherwise might be entirely over- 
looked. It will be to your advantage, therefore, to keep the classifica- 
tion list up to date at all times. 

FORM 180. 

How to Reach Agents. 

One of the most important things in connection with our business 
is to see that prospective customers who, through our advertisements, 
become interested in our properties in any special section, reach the agent 
in that section when they start out to examine the property that has 
appealed to them. In many towns our competitors watch all incoming 
trains in the hope that they may intercept a prospective customer before 
he reaches our agent. It is to guard against just such trouble that we 
ask you to fill out Form 180, answering clearly every question. At the 
same time, make arrangements with the station agent and other persons 
to give you what assistance they can. From the information given by you 
on this form we advise prospective visitors to your section how to reach 
your town and how to reach you after they get there. We do not want 
to send customers to your town to have them fall into the hands of other 
agents, and as it will be as much to your advantage as ours to see that 
they do not, we trust you will fill out this blank promptly and then do 
your part to see that the customer gets into good hands when he reaches 
your town in accordance with our instructions. 

FORM 193. 

Strout's Produce Price Blank. 

We are enclosing with this booklet two copies of Form No. 193. 
Kindly fill out same at your earliest convenience. Send one copy direct 
to our New York office and the other to the branch office in charge of 
your district. 

FORM 185. 

List of Personal Property. 

Keep a Supply in Your Pocket. 

"Personal property included" is one of the strongest features in adver- 
tising a farm and as some owners will decline to throw in anything at 



the net price for their property we have prepared this additional Hsting 
Form for personal property only. This should never be used until after 
an agent becomes convinced that the personal property cannot be obtained 
except for a sum in addition to the net price. It should never be offered 
to an owner to fill out until after the farm itself has been regularly 
listed, either on Form 115 or Form 154, and then only for the purpose 
of getting the owner to make a reduced lump price on the personal 
property therein enumerated. For instance, we will suppose that the 
owner will put in tools, which he values at $75, machinery $216, stock 
$425, miscellaneous $81 ; a total of $797. In view of the deterioration 
of some of these articles as a result of use and the fact that when he 
sells his farm he will have no further use for them, it is quite possible 
that the owner might be willing to accept a lump sum of $500 for all. 
In that event, have him fill in his asking price of $500 in the agreement 
near the top of the page, then have him affix his signature near the 
bottom of the sheet, together with the date on which the signature was 
written. The agent's signature accepting the agreement on behalf of 
the Company should be attached just before the owner signs and the com- 
pleted Form should be sent to your district office immediately to be filed 
with the original description. The agent should retain a copy of this 
Form in his office for his own reference. 

FORM 163. 

Reduction of Price Blanks. 

This Form will be found valuable on many occasions. Keep a supply 
in your coat pocket. Particularly in new sections owners frequently 
list their property at high prices, and often of their own accord at a later 
date will suggest that the price be reduced to effect a quick sale. For 
that purpose Form 163 should be used and when the owner's signature 
is affixed should be sent to this office for filing with the original descrip- 
tion. This Form also will be found valuable where an owner may 
complain that his property is not sold in what appears to him to be a 
reasonable time. The agent can point out to him, in the event of such 
a complaint being made, that 'his price is probably too high and that if 
he will revise his asking price on Form 163 there will be a greater likeli- 
hood of moving it quickly. The Form also may be used, if necessary 
in increasing the price on a property if, in the agent's judgment, such 
an increase is justified either by improvements on buildings, increase in 
the amount of stock, personal property on the farm included in the price, 
or because of certain local conditions which have caused an increase in 
land values. Increases should be accepted by the agent, however, only 
when he feels that they are justified. 



FORM 190. 

Agent's Information Blank. 

Every prospective customer who reaches your town will, by the time 
he steps from the railroad train, have cost the Company a good many 
dollars in advertising. He is then in your hands and we are sure that 
you will do everything you can to interest him in one of your properties 
to the point where he will become a purchaser. If you are unable to 
effect a sale, however, after having used your best efforts, you should 
not dismiss your visitor without some endeavor to retain him as one of 
the Company's prospective customers. You will have had your chance 
and done your best and if you have failed you should do everything 
you can to induce the visitor to call on some of your brother agents 
or at least to ascertain from him what information you can regarding 
his real wants and advise the Company accordingly. This information 
will be passed along to the agents whose sections and properties appear 
to answer the requirements of the prospect and these men will be given 
a chance to commence work on him where you left off. At the same 
time other agents through this information blank will be supplying the 
Company with information which in turn will be passed along to you 
and everybody will benefit. This Form should be filled out and mailed 
to the Company every Saturday or sooner if convenient. 

FORM 197. 

License Report. 

A copy of Form 197, License Report, is included with your first lot 
of supplies. 

Please ask the License Clerk in your town to fill out this report and 
then mail it back to our New York office. 

We desire to have this form filled out irrespective of whether or 
not your county or town have any restrictions relative to the operation 
of foreign real estate companies. 

FORM 141. 

Order Blank. 

Please use this Form in ordering supplies. Always send the same 
to our nearest office. We cannot promise to fill orders for supplies 
unless this Form is used. 




The Legal Side. 

All the contract forms used by the E. A. Strout Company in the con- 
duct of its business have been tested by the courts in the various states 
in which we are operating and have been pronounced binding in every 
instance. The present reading of these contract forms is the result of 
many years' experience and a great deal of thought and study not only 
on our own part but on the part of attorneys in many states who have 
been called into consultation in the preparation of the various forms. 

As they now stand, not only the Company and its agent but the prop- 
erty owner with whom the Company and the agent deal, are fully pro- 
tected in their rights when these forms are properly filled out and signed. 

The only purpose of this brief article is to show you that not only do 
these contract forms make the conduct of your agency safer and your 
profits more secure but in every instance the properly prepared contract 
will facilitate and make easier the work you will have to do. 

The Dishonest Owner. 

As an instance, you may take the regular Hsting Forms, Nos. 115 and 
154. Under the laws of some states, the agent is not permitted to handle 
a property or to offer a property for sale unless there is a written agree- 
ment or contract similar to one of these Forms between the agent and the 
owner. In other states, however, there may be an oral agreement between 
the agent and the owner under which a sale may be made, the owner to 
receive the full amount paid by the buyer, the agent to look to the owner 
for his commission in effecting the sale. Naturally, there being no written 
agreement, it is purely a case of honor as far as the owner is concerned 
and he may or may not carry out the oral agreement, just as he sees fit. 

Inasmuch as the majority of men are honest, it is natural that the 
majority of these oral contracts are fulfilled but it is just as certain that a 
dishonest owner will try in every way to evade payment and the result 
will be a percentage of loss which neither you nor the Company can afford 

to carry. 

Protect Yourself. 

The only safe and businesslike manner of conducting a real estate 

business, or any other undertaking, is along proper, businesslike lines. 

The first essential in this connection is the contract, particularly in the 

business in which we are engaged. Not only does the contract protect you 

in cases where you, through your own efforts, effect a sale by bringing 

about an agreement between the owner and the buyer produced by you 

but also protects you and assures us of our commission, when we can 


show that we have interested a prospective buyer in the property, even if 
the sale itself is made direct by the owner to this prospect when our agent 
IS not present and even when he has no immediate knowledge of the 
transaction. *" 

Owners Must Pay Commission. 

This point was recently finally passed upon by the Supreme Court of 
.he State of Mame in the case of E. A. Strout Company vs. Leslie Hub- 
bard. In 1906, Hubbard, an owner, sold his farm to a customer to whom 
the property was recommended by our agent. When we learned of the 
.■^ale, we made a demand on Mr. Hubbard for $200, the amount to which 
we were entitled according to agreement. He refused to pay and contested 
our claim through several courts. In the end we were sustained on every 
point and Hubbard was directed by the Court not only to pay our full 
commission but to pay all costs of the court as well. By this final decision 
Hubbard was forced to pay more than $800 as a result of trying to evade 
payment of a $200 commission rightfully due. 

Had this property not been listed on one of our regular contract forms 
we would have had no redress whatsoever and the agent and Company 
would have been forced to swallow their loss of the commission without 

Contract Holds after Witlidrawal. 

Another decision, sustaining another section of this contract, which 
also IS of great interest to the Company and its agents, was handed down 
by Justice Speer of the Supreme Judicial Court sitting in the County of 
Frankhn, Maine, in 1907. Andie S. Wilson, of Wilton, Franklin County 
Maine, had listed his farm on one of our general contract forms and our 
agent in that section had shown the property to a number of prospective 
customers, among them Eugene G. Tufts. No sale was efl^ected, but dur- 
ing the month of April, 1908, Wilson withdrew his property from the 
Company s hands. A few days later, however, he sold the property to 
Tufts, whereupon the Company through its agent made a demand upon 
Wilson for the full amount of commission due. He contested on the 
ground that the property had been withdrawn from our hands at the time 
of sale, but when the case had been taken to Court that section of our con- 
tract which provided for just such a contingency was sustained bv the 
Court and Wilson was directed to make a settlement of our claim in full 
minus the amount which had already been paid by Wilson as with- 
drawal fee. 

When the Owner Refuses to Sell. 

Another portion of this contract recently passed upon by the Court is 
that section which provides that "if a party ready, able and willing to 
purchase said property upon my terms, as stated herein, is procured by you 
or your agent, directly or indirectly, I will pay to you or your order forth- 





with, as commission, an amount equal to the difference between $ , 

herein referred to as the net price, and such price as said purchaser shall 
agree to pay for the above described property, except that in no case shall 
your commission be less than $ioo, nor, if the selling price exceeds $2,000, 
less than 5% (or 10%) of the same." 

The property of Byron G. Quimby, of Richmond, Maine, had been 
listed with the E. A. Strout Company at a net price of $1,400, the Com- 
pany to have as its commission all in excess of $1,400. When the Com- 
pany produced a customer willing and able to buy the place, Quimby 
refused to accept less than $1,700, claiming that he had previously noti- 
fied an agent of the Company that the property was withdrawn from sale 

at the original price. 

The Court, however, sustained the contention of the Company that 
it had performed its duty in connection with the contract and returned a 
verdict in favor of the Company for the full amount with interest. 

A Buyer Held for Commission. 

Not only does the contract protect the agent and the Company in the 
event of failure of the owner to carry out his part of the agreement but 
also where the buyer fails to observe the Company's rights. This point 
was tried out and a decision recently rendered in the Appellate Division 
of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the case of Friedman 

vs. Bitker. 

This case was based upon the sale of properties in New York City. It 
appeared from the testimony that the properties were offered to Bitker and 
Rosenblum by the plaintiff, Samuel S. Friedman, with the authority of the 
owner, a Dr. Miller, for $90,000. Failing to get Friedman to any splitting 
of the commission, the prospective buyers asked him to disclose the identity 
and whereabouts of the owner with the promise, according to Friedman, 
to protect him fully and to pay him the full commission in the event of 
their direct negotiations for the property proving successful. Soon after, 
the defendants bought the property for $90,000 through one Rosenberg, 
representing to the seller that they had never known Friedman in con- 
nection with the properties. At the trial, judgment for the full commission 
with interest was awarded Friedman and against the buyers, and this 
judgment was later sustained when carried to the Appellate Division of 
the Supreme Court. 

Value of the Withdrawal Clause Recognized. 

As already explained, the withdrawal clause is an essential feature 
of the contract or, in fact, any contract having to do with the sale of real 
estate by a broker. Not only does it serve to keep the listed property in 
our hands for a considerably longer time than it might otherwise remain 
but it also restrains owners from unduly increasing their net price after 

properties have been widely advertised and shown by agents, and also 
from withdrawing them from our hands at about the time a sale could 
be effected. 

The fairness of the withdrawal clause, both from the standpoint of 
the Company and the owner, cannot be doubted. That its propriety and 
fairness are recognized by the judicial authorities is proven by the fact 
that it has been sustained by the Courts many times where it has been 
found necessary to bring suit to enforce payment. 

Following is an article clipped from the September 21, 1908, issue of 
the Kennebec Journal: 

"In the Kennebec Superior Court Saturday morning the case of E. A. 
Strout Company vs. Daisy E. Gay was called for trial. This was an 
action in assumption to recover the sum of $50, alleged to be due the 
plaintiff for listing defendant's property, a series of sporting camps situ- 
ated in Farmington. 

"The property was placed in the agency October 21, 1905, and with- 
drawn October 28, 1907, by the defendant. The defendant claimed that 
the terms of the contract were not carried out; to her knowledge the 
property had not been advertised, nor had she had any calls for the 

"The jury returned a verdict for the E. A. Strout Company of $50 and 
interest from the date of the writ. Williamson & Burleigh, Augusta, for 
the plaintiff; Fogg & Clifford, Portland, for the defendant." 

E. A. Strout Company Won. 

A suit brought by the E. A. Strout Company against John Virono to 
recover on a written contract was heard before Recorder Browne and a 
jury this morning. Virono had signed an agreement with the E. A. Strout 
Company promising to pay them a fee if he withdrew the property from 
their hands before they had sold it. He refused to pay; hence the suit. 
The jury in a few minutes decided in favor of the Strout Company. 

Revised reprint from the "Vineland, N. /., Daily 
Republican/' Friday, October 11, igoy. 

The Law Governing Principal and Agent. 

Important Rules of Law Which Should Be Carefully Studied and Ex- 
plicitly Followed by Agents of the E. A. Strout Company in Order 

to Avoid Heavy Penalties. 

It is important that you note very carefully and read frequently the 
following statement of the law governing your actions as a Real Estate 
Broker for this Company. Give careful attention to this and you need 




have no fear of criminal prosecution, and will avoid expensive errors and 
liability on your part both to the owners and purchasers of Real Estate, 
and to this Company. 

As a Real Estate Broker you come under the general class known as 
agents. Representing the Strout Company, you are agent for the owner 
of the real estate you are trying to sell, and at the same time you are in 
relation to this Company its agent. The law of Principal and Agent 
applies to all your dealings. 

The first, all important and universal requisite of an agent is that he 
use the utmost good faith and honesty in dealing with his principal. In 
other lines of business, some transaction on the border line between what 
is ^'strictly business" and what is dishonest, are not within reach of the 
law, either civilly or criminally. But the law of Principal and Agent is 
peculiar and different. The ethics of a horse trade do not apply. When 
a Court considers relations arising out of this relation, it is particularly 
anxious to look at the substance of the transaction, and no juggling of 
dates and figures, or hair-splitting of words, will serve to blind it to the 
real nature of the transiaction. Any violation of this general rule may 
result in a .criminal indictment and conviction, and also heavy damages 
including a forfeiture of your commission. 

You cannot act as agent for both the seller and the buyer. You are 
agent for the seller and you can receive no compensation from the buyer 
in the same transaction. A violation of this rule is in law a misrepresenta- 
tion and means forfeiture of your commission and profits. 

In no case can you buy for yourself and us property listed with us at 
a price less than that named by the owner as net to him, without first dis- 
closing to him every offer you may have received from a prospective buyer 
for his property, and every fact that might influence his judgment. By 
doing this you subject yourself to liability for damages in an amount equal 
to the difference between the price you paid and the best offer you had 
received but previously unknown to him. 

Avoid Claims for Damages. 

You must accurately describe farms when listing them. You are not 
protected in relying on statements of owners. If any facts are mis- 
represented in your description you are personally liable to the buyer for 
all damages he may suffer, such as moving expenses if he comes from a 
distance and finds the farm not as represented. 

In making contracts as agent for others, where the owner and principal 
cannot sign, always sign the name of your principal by yourself as agent. 
Do not sign yourself "John Jones, Agent for Frank Smith," for such a 
signature binds you personally to the contract and may not bind Frank 
Smith. Sign, "Frank Smith, by John Jones, Agent." 



In listing have record owner sign the contract, if possible. Do not 
allow person listing property to sign, "John Jones, Agent," or "John Jones, 
Executor." In the former case have the principal (the owner of the 
property), sign, if possible, otherwise have his agent sign the name of his 
principal, by himself as agent. In the latter case have the executor sign 
"Estate of Frank Smith, by John Jones, Executor." If one, not the record 
owner, signs a listing contract, inquire as to his authority to bind the 
owner and report to us as to that. 

Keep a Good Diary. 

Keep a careful record or diary of transactions including dates, when, 
and names and addresses of parties to whom property is shown. Keep 
copies of your letters. If you write by hand use an indelible pencil with 
carbon paper. Careful attention to these details will enable us to recover 
commissions in many doubtful cases. 

Sales have been made by owners direct to our customers five and six 
years after the property was shown by our agent. Hence the importance 
of keeping a diary record of every visitor. 

List all contracts in writing on our forms. In many states the law 
prohibits recovery of broker's commission where listing was oral. In many 
states it is extremely difficult and generally impossible to collect commis- 
sions where the owner has not signed a contract. A written listing fixes 
beyond doubt the amount of compensation, the terms, and makes the 
owners accurate in representations as to condition of their farms. It 
protects you in collecting commission and from charges of misrepresenta- 
tion and avoids trouble with the buyer. Do not alter contracts except by 
writings endorsed on them and signed by the owner and by this Company. 

Do Not Mix Funds. 

Do not mix the funds of this Company or others with your own. 
Money received that belongs to the seller should be deposited specially 
for his benefit. Whatever portion is our commission must be forwarded 
to us at once. Any commingling of funds of owners or of this Company 
with your own, or retaining or depositing the same in your name is a 
breach of trust, and makes you personally liable to the owner or to us. 

Money received by you as commission, withdrawal fees or forfeiture 
is our property, you having a claim to your share after we have received 
the full amount. If you retain this for your own use or neglect to remit 
immediately you are guilty of embezzlement. 

Agent's Liability. 

Many infractions of the above rules may impose liabilities on this Com- 
pany, but whether or not we become liable you are personally liable to 
owners and buyers for such infractions. Any fraud or concealment may 




mean criminal indictment and conviction, a loss of all your commission or 
profits, and possibly heavy damages in addition. And whenever we may 
be held for any wrong done by our agent we at once bring suit against him 
for the amount we are obliged to pay together with costs and our at- 
torney's fees, which amounts we are entitled to recover in any state. 

U. S. Postal Laws. 

Any misstatement, fraud or misrepresentation by you to buyer or 
seller by mail may result in criminal prosecution by the Federal Govern- 
ment for wrongful use of the mails. This law is particularly severe and 
punishes the sender of mail matter calculated to defraud whether by mis- 
representation of existing facts or suggestions or promises as to the future. 
The penalty for such misuse of the mail is one year in a federal prison and 
$500.00 fine, and the government is a relentless prosecutor of postal law 

We wish to save our agents the liability for damage to either our 
customers or ourselves, and have employed an attorney to formulate these 
rules for your guidance. They are simple. Those agents who conscien- 
tiously follow them will find their connection with this Company pleasant 
and profitable. Those who do not will be promptly and vigorously 


Report Sales Promptly. 

The attention of our attorneys having been called to the position of an 
agent who had failed to report a collection, they wrote us in reply a letter 
from which we take the liberty of quoting as follows : 

"An agent of a corporation who appropriates to his own use any money 
or substitutes for money received by him as such agent, or refuses or 
neglects to pay over or deliver the same to the party who should receive 
it, within thirty days after demand therefor, is guilty of larceny." 

In the contract under which you are acting as our agent, we promise to 
pay you as commission a certain percentage of the gross commission. This 
promise to pay is on our part and is not a promise on your part to pay us. 
We therefore take this opportunity of reminding you of this part of the 
contract and so that there will be no misunderstanding you will please 
keep in mind the following rule to be applied in all cases where moneys are 
collected by you, either in settlement of commissions, forfeitures or with- 
drawal fees : 

All moneys, checks, drafts, notes or property collected or re- 
ceived for commissions, forfeits, withdrawal fees or profits in real 
or personal property sold, belong solely to the E. A. Strout Com- 
pany. The agents of the E. A. Strout Company shall keep the same 
separate and distinct from the property of himself or from every 



other person and shall within five days after their receipt by him, 
remit the same, less the part to which he is entitled, to the E. A. 
Strout Company. 

Our attorneys further write us as follows : 

"An agent who refuses or neglects to turn over moneys collected with- 
in a reasonable length of time after payment, could be convicted on a 
criminal charge." 

There is little more to be said. We have made it plain that we desire 
honesty above all things. All we want is the share of the commissions, 
forfeits, withdrawal fees, etc. to which we are entitled. But we do want 
that and we propose to get it even if we have to invoke the aid of the 
criminal law. We have no desire to seek the aid of the law in securing for us 
our rights but there are times when patience ceases to be a virtue and when 
it becomes necessary in order to protect our own interests to take legal 
steps. We do not want anything to do with dishonest men or with agents 
that are inclined to hold on to dollars not belonging to them, and who 
know that in so doing they are performing the act of theft. 

Our Duties and Yours. 

Getting customers to you is our end of the business. Your part is 
to show these customers about and endeavor to make sales. If you 
are not successful in selling a man, you must not tell him that he must pay 
for the team which you used to show him the property. The free use 
of teams is part of your expense and we advertise in our catalogues 
that customers can see these farms free of expense. It would be just 
as sensible for us to say to the man who did not buy : "Here, we spent 
$50 to advertise that farm you went to see and now, if you don't buy 
it, you must stand that $50." Use your own team to show these cus- 
tomers about and never ask a customer to pay a cent for team hire. 
That is practically your only expense in connection with the business, 
and you should stand it willingly. 

Always report sales on the regular brown sale blanks properly filled in. 

Report the sale the same day a binder of any kind is received either by 
you or the owner. 

Forward to the New York office commissions or withdrawal fees 
the same day you receive payment. 

In sending money, write a check for each commission, withdrawal 
fee or forfeiture. On your check, write the number of the property 
and also enter this number on the stub in your check book. 

Never send a check on account. Always make it clear just what 
property each check is on and do not draw one check covering two 

Make all checks payable to E. A. Strout Company. 



Why a List of 25 Properties Is Necessary. 

I want to call to your attention once more, and impress idelibly upon 
you, that it is absolutely necessary for you to get together at once a list 
of not less than twenty-five properties. Your success as an agent depends 
upon doing that at once. 

Many years' experience has shown us time and time again that it is 
useless to send customers to an agent before he has at least twenty-five 
properties listed for sale. 

This is so for the reason that very few customers purchase the property 
they first go to examine. 

A man will go to see a i8o-acre farm at $3,000 and you may sell him 
a one-acre village home at $1,200. Another may call on you to see a farm 
for $1,800 and finally buy and pay cash for an $11,000 farm. A woman 
will rush out to see a farm you have at $600 and turn around the same 
day and purchase from you a $6,000 place. 

The above incidents are FACTS. They happened, and they hap- 
pened to me. Therefore, when you have listed ten or a dozen places 
don't sit down and wait for us to send you customers. 

If you can't list, you can't sell. 

If you can't list twenty-five properties you made a mistake when you 
thought you had all the requirements necessary to become a successful 
Real Estate Agent. 

The Withdrawal Fee. 

We collect the withdrawal fees from the New York office as we find 
that we can do this with less friction than can the local agent. You 
should notify us promptly when a property is withdrawn and we will 
do our best to collect the amount due under the contract. When we 
have satisfied ourselves that we cannot collect we will turn the bill over 
to our attorneys. 

In many cases where agents have neglected to notify us that certain 
properties had been withdrawn and had tried to make the collection of 
the withdrawal fees themselves, the owner of the withdrawn property 
has moved away, leaving no address, and we therefore lost the oppK)r- 
tunity of even trying to collect the amount due. 

When requesting us to bill for a withdrawal fee or at any time when 
you have occasion to make mention of a certain property, always give 
the name of the owner and the number of acres as well as the number 
of the property. This provides an eflfective check on errors which should 
be avoided at any cost. In some cases a great deal of unpleasantness 
has been caused as a result of the agent giving us the wrong number 
in requesting us to bill withdrawal fees. We follow these bills up very 
closely, and in case of an error when properties in reality have not been 
withdrawn, owners sometimes are highly offended upon receiving a bill 



for withdrawal fee. At the same time, it means a great deal of un- 
necessary work and annoyance for all concerned. 

Court Upholds Withdrawal Fee. 

A verdict for $155.25 in full payment of a withdrawal fee of three 
per cent, was returned on March 9, 1910, by a New Jersey jury in the 
case of A. W. Dresser, a Burlington real estate dealer, against CliflPord 
L. Engle of Jacksonville. 

Dresser had listed a property owned by Engle on a withdrawal fee 
contract and later Engle disposed of the farm to a customer of his own 
finding. Dresser's contract called for a withdrawal fee of three per cent. 
The property was sold for $5,175. His claim therefore amounted to 

Engle did not deny that he had entered into a written agreement with 
Dresser. Dresser's contract also contained a clause requiring Engle to 
give 30 days' notice in writing to Dresser in case he, Engle, should desire 
to take the property out of Dresser's hands. Engle claimed that he with- 
drew his property verbally and that having given the notice he was not 
obliged to pay the withdrawal fee. 

Dresser claimed that he had been to considerable expense in adver- 
tising the farm, which in all probability brought the attention of the 
purchaser to the fact that the farm was for sale. He was correct in 
claiming that it was not a case of getting something for nothing, but 
that unless he was protected fully on the provision of the contract as 
entered into, he could not continue in business and pay advertising bills 
and other expenses which are absolutely necessary in the sale of real 
estate; that in this case it was a matter of getting back money already 
paid out in advertising and for contingent expenses incident to the efforts 
he had made in trying to sell the farm. 

The jury returned a verdict in favor of Dresser for the full amount 

Numerous decisions of this nature uphold the legality of the with- 
drawal fee clause in the contract. In listing property agents should be 
careful to see that owners understand the different provisions of the 
contract so that there will be no grounds for misrepresentation. From a 
legal standpoint we are not called upon to prove that the signer of a con- 
tract understood the nature of what he was signing. The man who signs 
a contract assumes all responsibility. From the standpoint, however, of 
policy it is always best to have owners understand the contracts they sign 
so as to avoid any misunderstanding. 

In listing property always be sure and get the owner of record to 
sign the contract. Carefulness in filling out description blanks will save 
a great deal of trouble and expense in cases where owners of listed 
properties refuse to pay withdrawal fees or commissions. 




Refer Inquiries to New York OfRce. 

When anyone who has property listed with us for sale complains to you 
about paying the withdrawal fee, or because the sale of their property has 
not been made, and they inquire regarding the amount of advertising that 
has been done on their place, always tell them that such matters are 
handled from the New York office and that they will please write there 
for the information they desire. This will insure a quick and satisfactory 
reply to the owner and at the same time prevent any antagonism between 
you and him. Should an owner complain that we have not brought 
him a customer, it would be well for you at that time to suggest that 
he make easier terms, drop his price a little and throw in some personal 
property. Tell him that everybody who has called upon you to see 
property has been looking for a big bargain. Don't forget that the 
lower the price is, the smaller the first payment, the easier the terms 
on the remainder and the more "personal property included/' the easier 
it is to make a sale. 

Legal Expenses Connected with the Collection of Commissions 

and Withdrawal Fees. 

When it is necessary to employ legal services in order to collect with- 
drawal fees and commissions, the charges for such services will be 
deducted from the gross amount collected before the division is made 
between the Company and the agent. In both cases, however, we always 
make an arrangement with our attorney — so that, in case of failure, we 
have to pay only actual court expenses. We have very little trouble 
in collecting commissions in cases where the owners acknowledge the 
correctness of our claim. 

We have in a few cases, however, been compelled to bring suit in 
order to collect commissions where owners had sold direct to our cus- 
tomers and refused to recognize us in the sale. In a case of this kind, 
it is always advisable for the agent to place the entire matter in the 
hands of a good local attorney with the understanding that in the event 
of success he is to receive as his fee ten per cent, of the amount col- 
lected, the agent and the Company to pay only actual court expenses in 
case of failure. In matters of this kind, it is necessary to move quickly. 

Oftentimes by placing such claims in your local lawyer's hands imme- 
diately the farm can be attached before the tricky owner has deeded it. 

An owner who would endeavor to close up a deal with one of our 
customers without notifying us, would at the same time try in every 
possible way to avoid paying us our commission. Therefore, watch 
carefully every real estate transaction taking place in your sections, par- 
ticularly transactions affecting properties listed for sale in our Company. 



What Constitutes a Withdrawal. 

Read carefully explanations of Forms 115 and 154 on pages 35 and 
Zy, and also an explanation of "Withdrawal Fee of E. A. Strout Com- 
pany," by Williamson & Burleigh, Attorneys-at-Law, below. 

If any owner sells his property direct without our assistance or 
through some other agent, our withdrawal fee is due. For in order to 
make such a sale he is obliged to withdraw it from our hands. If an 
owner decides that he does not care to sell or advances his price without 
our local agent's approval, it constitutes a withdrawal and our fee be- 
comes due. 

In many cases where an owner wishes to advance his price it is for 
the reason that he does not wish to sell. The owner thinks that if he 
puts his price up high enough we cannot sell the property anyway, and 
he believes in this way he can beat us out of our just withdrawal fee. 
An advance in price is a withdrawal. Don't let the owner hoodwink you. 

When a property is taken off the market because of the death of 
the owner or loss of the buildings by fire, there is sometimes a question 
as to whether it has been withdrawn or not, but in general our fee is 
recognized as a just debt against the estate and is paid by the admin- 

Thus it is evident that anything that deprives us of the opportunity 
of selling the property as it was listed may be considered a withdrawal. 

Read all clauses of each form you are using and if there are any 
phrases you do not understand, write us at once for a full explanation. 
As so many owners and buyers depend so implicitly on the agents' ex- 
planation of our terms and methods, it is of the utmost importance that 
every agent understand thoroughly each clause or phrase of every form 
we use. 

The Withdrawal Fee of the E. A. Strout Company 

By Williamson & Burleigh,, Ausrusta, Maine. 

Nearly every real estate agency requires its patrons to make a small 
initial payment which will reimburse them for the cost of listing and 
for expenses incurred in case a sale is not made. Many agencies also 
require that a listed property shall be left with them exclusively, and 
that it shall remain in their hands a definite length of time. 

From the first the E. A. Strout Company adopted a different and 
more liberal principle. It has never required any payment from its 
clients so long as their property remained in their hands for sale. ( Pro- 
vision has been made, however, that while parties might leave their 
properties in the hands of the agency as long as they wished, without 
charge, but in case they saw fit to withdraw such properties they should 
pay a small fee for the privilege.) It has never required an exclusive 
right of sale, but by allowing owners not only to make sales themselves 


and to place the property in the hands of other agents, it has welcomed 
competition. In 95% of the cases where property has been placed 
with the Strout Company and with other agents and in which sales have 
been made at all, such sales have been effected by the Strout Company. 

So far as we know, the fairness or legality of this withdrawal fee 
has never been questioned by parties at the time they entered into the 
contract with the E. A. Strout Company. A contract which would 
provide for a withdrawal without any fee would be beneficial neither 
to the owner nor to the agent. No commission merchant dealing in 
any kind of a commodity could undertake to advertise and sell it if it 
might be withdrawn from his hands at any moment without compensa- 
tion. If such a privilege existed, parties owning property would fre- 
quently withdraw it, merely out of caprice, and perhaps just before a 
sale was about to be effected. In this case the agency would receive 
no remuneration, no matter how much expense it had been put to. 

The withdrawal fee is also a check upon the listing of undesirable 
places, and of desirable places at extraordinarily high prices. As the stock 
market becomes clogged with "undigested securities," so would the agency 
become filled with "undigested farms," which by their unsalability, would 
not only use the advertising space, time and money of the agency fruit- 
lessly, but, like decayed fruit, would injure the sale of other properties 
advertised with them, and eventually spoil the reputation of the agency. 
The refusal of the owner to agree to pay a fee in case of withdrawal 
indicates on his part either an instability of purpose or a knowledge 
that his property is unsalable at the price quoted. In either case, he is 
not a desirable client. 

In many instances the payment of a withdrawal fee is a very small 
compensation for time, trouble and expenditure involved in attempts to 
sell the property which is sometimes withdrawn just before these efforts 
seem about to be crowned with success. Nothing is more discouraging 
to a real estate agent than to be obliged to tell a prospective customer 
that the place in which he has become interested is no longer for sale. 

.In such cases as these it has sometimes become necessary to collect 
the withdrawal fee by suit at law. Almost invariably, on suit being 
brought, the opposing attorneys have stated that they should defend on 
the ground of no consideration, claiming that the withdrawal fee could 
not be legally collected. As invariably, when the day of trial approached, 
they have receded from this position and acknowledged the justice of 
the E. A. Strout Company's claim. 

Inasmuch as the question had frequently been raised in this manner 
the Company was anxious that it should be definitely decided and this 
has now been done. In 1908 the Company brought suit against a person 
in Maine for a withdrawal fee. The property in this case was of a 



class not very salable and the price placed upon it was large. It did 
not sell and the owner, after two years, withdrew it and refused to 
pay the withdrawal fee. Suit was brought upon it in the courts of 
Maine and the jury decided by their verdict that the defendant must 
pay. Subsequently, the Law Court decided that the contract is a valid 
one and that listing was a sufficient consideration for a promise to pay 
the withdrawal fee. 

As this decision is in conformity with opinions which the Company 
has previously received from the attorneys in the various states in which 
it does business and as in no case but this has the right to collect the 
withdrawal fee ever been contested by any other attorney, we feel fully 
satisfied that the courts of all states will decide this question favorably 
to us, should occasion ever arise for its construction by them. 

Court Sustains Agent's Claim for Big Commission. 
Value of "Net Price" Clause Shown. 

The great advantage of listing property only at a net price, from 
the agent's point of view, was strikingly shown recently when a jury 
sitting in the Connecticut Superior Court brought in a verdict awarding 
Marshall P. Richards of New York City, a real estate agent, the sum 
of $3450, the full amount for which he asked, against Herbert D. Whit- 
ney of New Canaan. The defendant had a farm in New Canaan that 
he desired to sell, and so he entered into an agreement with the plaintiff 
that all over $10,000 he received for the place he could have for his 
commission (the same provision as is made in our Forms 115 and 154). 

Mr. Richards did get a customer, who finally agreed to give Mr. Rich- 
ards $13,000 for the farm. But Mr. Richards was sticking out for $500 
more, and it was when they were dickering and the customer had decided 
to give it up that Mr. Whitney came forward and sold it himself. 

Real Estate Agent Richards said that the difference between $10,000 
and $13,000 was his commission and that he would have sold for $13,000 
anyway when he saw that he could not get any more, but he acted as 
all real estate agents act under a like circumstance. The defense was 
that Mr. Richards lingered so long that he would have lost the sale 
anyway, so Mr. Whitney, in order not to lose, stepped in and settled 
the whole matter. 

The jury, however, held that Mr. Richard's contract, with the net 
price provision, entitled him to full commission, and they consequently 
awarded him $3,450, — the full commission with costs added. 



Do Not Cut Photographs. 

The copyright law of the United States, which became effective July 
I, 1909, provides a very heavy penalty for infringement of copyright. 

Should we use in our catalogues without proper authority a copy- 
righted photograph, we would be liable to the owner of the copyright to 
the extent of one dollar for every catalogue printed. The law permits no 

It is therefore of the utmost importance that you do not cut photo- 
graphs, for by so doing you might remove copyright marks. Send all 
photographs to our offices just as received by you. 

How One Agent Made Good. 

I have had an agent go out afoot in midwinter over the bleak hills in 
low shoes and a derby hat in a part of New England where the wind cuts 
like a mother-in-law's tongue and the thermometer plays tag between 
zero and 30 degrees below for weeks, in the days when the name of Strout 
connected with the selling of farms meant nothing. That agent listed his 
twenty-five farms in a few days. 

At the same time, other agents were sitting close to the stoves spending 
hours writing us excuses explaining why they were not then listing and 
bragging about what they were going to do later. They never have done 
anything and were laid away long ago in the Company's grave-yard. 

The other agent has made good with us. He has money enough now 
that he can buy his shoes and hats by the carload, if he wants to. He is 
only one of several score who have made good and made good money 
with us. There is just one word that defines success. It is a short word 
and it is easily understood. It is WORK. 

If it isn't in your dictionary, quit right now. 

If you and WORK are old chums, shake hands, get busy and you and 
I will make money together. 

E. A. STROUT, President. 



Be " Square '\ 

Never misrepresent anything to a prospective customer. 
We do not allow and will not tolerate misrepresentation on 
the part of anyone connected with the E. A. Strout Com- 
pany. If you can't do business " on the square '* and above- 
board, you are wasting your time and ours in attempting 
to make a permanent alliance with this Company. 

Treat the other fellow as you would want him to treat 
you if you were in his place. This is an easy rule to 
remember and it will make easy dollars for you. 



Be a Booster! 

Boom your own section all the time. Everything has 
its good points. Find out all the good points about your 
district and your properties and make it your duty to see 
that everybody else hears about them. 

Think out those facts you would wish to know regard- 
ing a new section, were you thinking of moving there your- 
self. Post yourself on these facts regarding your own sec- 
tion. Talk and write them to your prospects. 

Be a Booster ! 




Advertising; p^e^ 

Use Form 159 40 

How to prepare advertising ma- 
terial 25-33 

Observe copyright law 58 

Send good photographs 32 

Send good crop stories 31 

Send good dollar talks 29 

Choose low-price properties 3 

Include personal property 3 

Easy terms 4 

Make yourself known . ". 19 

How to do it 20 

Posting signs 19 

Your competitors 22 

Write descriptions carefully 30 

Advertisements that bring the dol- 
lars 31 

Dollar talks 29 

Special features 28 

Live stock a drawing card 28 

What to select 27 

Never advertise unlisted proper- 
ties 38 

How to reach agents 41 

Agents information blank (Form 

190) 43 


Avoid word "commissions" 14 

Keep diary of dates and names. . . 49 

To whom paid I6 

When paid is 

Remit Company's share promptly. 16 

How to insure collection 16 

When owner must pay 45 

When buyer must pay * 46 

Agent's claim sustained 57 


Use your own name 5 

Never describe more than two 

farms 9 

What the prospective customer 
wants to know — Aids in cor- 
respondence 9 

Value of promptness 5 

Letters that sell farms 6 

"Night Letters" by telegraph 7 

Special delivery letters and tele- 
grams 8 

Small photographs an aid in sell- 
ing 6 

When advertised properties have 

been sold 17 

Free Fare Bond; 

Pay only one way. 

. 25 

Forms and Their Uses; 

White listing blank (Form 115).. . 35 

Yellow listing blank (Form 154).. 37 
Brown descriptive blank (Form 

167) 38 

Sales agreement (Form 194) 39 

Report of sale (Form 132) 39 

How to sell a farm (Form 129) ... 39 

A few friendly facts (Form 130). . 39 
Agents' monthly report (Form 

142) 40 

Withdrawal notice (Form 103)... 40 

Advertising blank (Form 159) 40 

Property classification (Form 177) 40 

How to reach agents (Form 180).. 41 

Strout's produce blank (Form 193) 41 

Personal property list (Form 185) 41 
Reduction of price blanks (Form 

163) 42 

Agent's information blank (Form 

190) 43 

License report (Form 197) 43 

Order blank (Form 141) 43 


Have policies transferred promptly 

at time of sale 18 

How transfer is made 19 


A silent helper 21 

Make yourself known 19-22 

Do not handle unlisted properties. 38 

Always use forms in listing 49 

A few friendly facts (Form 130). . 39 

Inspect properties thoroughly 16 

Accuracy in descriptions 48 

List low-price properties 22 

Get low net prices 23 

Get easiest terms 4 

Have personal property included. . 3 

Call listing blanks "price list"... 5 

If owners object gg 

How to induce owners to sign. ... 5 

When to relist at lower prices. ... 37 

Value of agent's copy (Form 167) 4 

How one agent made good 58 




Legal Side, The; 


Agent's liability 49 

Protect yourself 44 

Law governing principal and 

agent 47 

Report sales promptly 50 

Do not mix funds 49 

Postal laws 50 

Keep diary of dates and names. . . 49 

Accuracy in descriptions 48 

Avoid claims for damages 48 

Observe copyright law 58 

Dishonest owners 44 

Contract holds after withdrawal. . 45 

When owners refuse to sell 45 

Owners must pay commissions... 45 

When buyer must pay commission 46 

Printed Matter; 

Must bear Company's name 34 

Copy must be approved 34 

Send check with order 25 


How to get good ones 33 

Their value in advertising farms., 33 

Photographs for personal circulars 33 

Good camera for $9.50 34 



Special supplies 25 

Use Form 141 43 

Send check with order 25 


When Sale is Made; 

Have insurance transferred 

Notify owner to prepare deed... 

Have tax receipt ready 

"Sold by E. A. Strout Company". 

Announce in local papers 

Pay Railroad fare only one way. 

When Your Customer Comes; 

Meet him at the train 9 

Take him to your home 10 

Keep him away from other agents 10 
If property he came to see has 

been sold 17 

Keep buyer and seller apart 24 

Accompany customer to train 

when he leaves 10 

Courteous treatment pays 10 

When you should send prospects 

to other agents 10 

Use Form 190 43 

Do not aid competitors 11 

An experienced agent's advice. ... 24 


Know your goods 16 

Do not show all your properties.. . 23 

How a sale was lost 24 

Avoid making price 12 

Avoid the word "commission" 14 

A good selling argument 13 


When terms must be adjusted, 


When owner refuses to sell 45 

When and how to bind the trade. . 14 

The first deposit — to whom paid. . 16 

Form 194 — Sales agreement 39 

Formal agreement of sale impor- 
tant 15 

Report sales on Form 132 39 

Report sales promptly 50 

Remit Company's share at once. . . 16 
When advertised properties have 

been sold 17 

What it is 55 

How collected 52 

Why it helps you 36 

What constitutes a withdrawal... 55 
Notify promptly when owner 

withdraws property 40 

May mean full commission to you 40 
Refer inquiries to New York office 54 
Contract holds after withdrawal.. 45 
Cburt decisions sustain with- 
drawal 46 and 53 

Expenses 53 










Success selling faz*Bis 

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9AN 1 2m5 


APR 23 1931